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Letter to the Editor

Summing up FOIA request results

November 02, 2011 - Dear Editor,

Regarding my FOIA requests: some people said that they do not understand my intentions and I should deliver proof of findings.

Two years ago, January 2010, Clarkston school administration surprised many with an expected shortfall of $13 million dollars and that we needed to cut $10 million dollars in one year. I became very interested in how the school district spends its money.

What I have found through my FOIA documents include: incomplete and inaccurate Transparency Reports, mandated by the state; purchasing policy violations such as contracts broken up into smaller pieces so board approval would not be required, awarding contracts without obtaining three bids, use of district credit card by non-district employees; and questionable expenses.

I delivered a letter with back up documentation to Dr. Rod Rock and the school board treasurer on March 18, 2011. I still have not received a response besides acknowledgement of receipt.

In this day of reduced educational funding, increasing class sizes and cuts to direct student services like instructional aides and media specialists, I think we as a community need to understand how our tax and educational dollars are being spent, especially since Dr. Rock has plans to ask the Community for over $20 million more dollars through a bond and/or sinking fund.

For more specifics, please visit my blog at acrosstheboard-clarkston.blogspot.com

Dawn Schaller

Independence Township

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