And, the “system” never caught it!
Several years ago, the Bluegrass Institute started warning the citizens of Kentucky that oversight of the public school district superintendents in Kentucky was highly problematic. Local boards of education in too many cases were handing out annual superintendent evaluations that just didn’t jibe with the performance in their school system.
The story widened considerably about a year ago when Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts Adam Edelen started investigations in districts that seemed to have serious problems with fiscal management. Edelen’s most shocking discovery to date is the wildly excessive abuse of public trust in the Dayton Independent School District in Northern Kentucky, a story that continues to grow.
In the latest development, Fox 19 News reports that the school district has won a huge, over a half-million dollars, settlement from Gary Rye, the former superintendent in Dayton Independent, related to “abuse, misuse and theft of funds.”
Also revealed is expanded information on how long the local board’s lax oversight allowed fiscal nonsense to go on in this poor school system. The Fox 19 report says, “There is no question that Rye took money from the schools the entire time he served as superintendent… Fifteen years.”
Fifteen years of corruption and no local board members caught it, no independent auditors caught it and no-one at the Kentucky Department of Education caught it, either.
It starts to look like there has been a massive hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil mentality in our school systems. That not only served the taxpayer very poorly, but it robbed young Kentuckians of valuable resources they badly needed to get a better education.
Fortunately, with Edelen on the job, things are starting to change for the abusers and missusers of public money and trust. Unfortunately, given the extraordinarily long time that problems went undetected in Dayton, it seems likely that Edelen’s on-going hunt will turn up still more examples of adults abusing our school systems to the disadvantage or our children.