Time for an accounting of the Dayton Public Schools Treasurer

At the parents meeting Thursday night, Dr. Adil Baguirov cited yet another set of figures for student and money loss, now claiming the loss is closer to $3 million- and that the students discrepancy was off by 8 students. Yes, we know that student counts vary, but the funding shouldn’t yo-yo like this mid-school year. He also claimed that the reserves aren’t at the sacred “10% level” needed for bond ratings from the same losers at Wall Street that ranked junk securities AAA and threw this country into economic chaos- and then in today’s paper- their treasurer, Hiwot Abraha, claims they are on track.

At Thursday’s meeting, DPS parent Dave Fanjoy asked, given howmuch money the district has in reserve, why DPS chose to make the cuts in the middle of the school year.

Baguirov pointed out that the district’s bond rating was recently downgraded by one agency, in part because its reserve levels might be at risk if there was an economic downturn.

“Their requirements are always above 10 percent of the revenue in the budget,” Baguirov said. “We do not even have that 10 percent as of today.”

DPS Treasurer Hiwot Abraha confirmed Friday that DPS does narrowly have more than 10 percent in reserve today. According to the five-year forecast that the school board approved a month ago, that figure was just over 11 percent this past summer, and is projected to march upward to 13 percent this coming summer, 15 percent in 2018, and 17 percent in 2019.Asked about those numbers Friday, Baguirov pointed out that DPS had been below that 10 percent level in recent years.

Source: Dayton school cuts may be delayed

It seems that Baguirov and Abraha can’t get their figures straight- and the district has suffered a huge PR and credibility blow- because Abraha can’t give the board legitimate numbers. This was never a problem under former Treasurer Craig Jones who wasn’t retained by this board- and is currently suing them for not following the law on his dismissal. The 19 fired “administrators” from Nov 8th- may have the same basis for lawsuits.

But, if we need proof that Abraha’s office is a mess, a parent just called me to share that her $250 transportation check from the district (compensation for driving her kid to a charter school instead of using DPS buses) bounced- and she was charged a bank fee- that the district will be liable for.

It would seem that besides not being able to manage an RFP for marketing services properly, or giving the board correct info on loss of dollars or students, the treasurers office can’t keep their accounts balanced either.

At this point- it should be easy to fire the treasurer, but the public should really be looking at firing the school board. There has never been this much turmoil in the district- and it comes down to the Board’s hiring of Rhonda Corr and promoting Hiwot Abraha- instead of keeping Lori Ward- who took the district out of academic emergency (but Corr got a $7,500 bonus for it) and keeping the steady financial hand of Craig Jones.

If you need further proof that the public has had it with this board, the staff has had it with Corr, note that a video posted of a parents meeting has 37 views in 12 hours, without me promoting it.

Other than Baguirov spouting off new “numbers”- the interesting parts are he responds to my question about the para’s firing this upcoming Tuesday- with “we probably won’t fire them until summer,”

If you need an indication why the district can’t keep jobs filled, this kind of inspiring statement should be all you need to know.

There is also an exchange between the parent who was disrespected by Joe Lacey and Dr. Hazel Rountree and Ms. Hazel, where she blows off the parent’s concerns for being talked to like a child in front of her child. As Hazel sits in denial, people chime in “watch the video”- which went organically viral on Facebook with over 5,600 views and almost 150 shares within days of posting.

And as that conversations ends, Dr. Walker apologizes for the boards behavior, but doesn’t apologize for the RIF (even if the numbers were wrong).

At some point, the public should be able to get a full and honest accounting of not only the costs of the bad marketing, that caused the loss of students, which created the funding shortfall, which caused the RIF mid-school year in an emergency that caused the loss of faith and respect of all involved and brought massively bad PR to the district and has employee morale at an all time-low.

Maybe a bounced check will be the final straw that broke the camels back.

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13 Comments on "Time for an accounting of the Dayton Public Schools Treasurer"

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Mychelle Brown
Mychelle Brown

All I can say right now is, “Wow!!!”

Joe Gill

We need a complete OUTSIDE audit, with a PUBLIC disclosure of the FULL audit report. After that we need ANNUAL audits, by an OUTSIDE auditor.

The auditor, should have NO political connections of the city or county officials.

If there are discrepancies, there should be MANDATORY action plans, with full reporting

Diane

If I had kids in DPS, I personally could not RUN. FAST. ENOUGH.

What is amazing is that there are still parents in Dayton willing to risk their childrens’ education EVERY SINGLE DAY by remaining in this situation when there are decent (and better than decent) school districts five miles down the road in just about any direction. You just don’t mess with your kids’ education. Nope. You just don’t.

It truly boggles this suburban mind.

truddick

Is there no outrage that a parent who thinks her charter school is what her child needs (considering the generally poor quality of charters, not supported by evidence) is PAID PUBLIC FUNDS because her precious little one is too delicate for school bus transportation?

When I chose to drive my kids to school, I did it on my own dime.

The day has come for Charter Schools to start being responsible for their own freight.  Fix that issue and maybe DPS would be in less turmoil–just maybe.

Ruth

why on God’s green earth do they pay parents for not using Dayton’s bus service?? That is a parents choice, but get paid for it.. WOW…NO wonder Dayton schools are broke..they also pay employees 400 dollars a year not to take their insurance..hello.. does any other employer pay their employees to NOT take their health coverage?? Its just ridiculous… you don’t take our insurance fine.. you don’t ride our bus fine.. but to get paid for it… STUPID…and David if that is a law.. its the stupidest law I have ever heard of…Maybe Dayton’s lawyers should do away with those laws… that might save the district a million or 2….

Ruth

I didn’t get paid for taking my kids to CJ everyday… because that was my choice.. my goddaughter’s mom didn’t get paid for taking her to Carroll everyday.. that was her choice….Yes the check bounced that is BAD.. but if you send your child to a school that has NO bus service that is your choice… so get them there…I would pick other children up in the morning for CJ and then another parent would bring my children home from school.. believe me for 6 years I scrambled to get them a ride home.. BUT I did it.. its called parenting…could of they taken the RTA YES… but NO one offered to pay for that either..my point is its a parents choice to send their child to a school and its their responsibility to get them there and back….I was a single mom.. making under 20,000 a year salary… Yes we were poor but by God my children’s education was important to me…so I got them to school one way or the other..with NO help from anyone but other parents who cared about getting their child to school too…Dayton caters to the parents and kids.. buying them coats shoes and school supplies every year… I never one time got a  pencil for my children without buying it myself…were times tough here YES.. but instead of having an I phone I had a flip phone.. instead of having NEW shoes for myself.. I bought my children school shoes..no new car here I had an old junker… but it got my kids to school.. it was my choice to send my kids to CJ and it was my responsibility to get there there and back….

Dave C.

The check bounced?

Nice. Good job, guys. Excellent fiscal management.

Isn’t Joe Lacey a CPA? On the board of an organization writing rubber checks?

That’s gotta be professionally embarrassing.

truddick

David, the check bouncing is a problem you have covered. My comment about paying for transportation–you say, “It’s the law”, well THE LAW is STUPID!!!

Ohio’s constitution says

The General Assembly shall make such provisions, by taxation, or otherwise, as, with the income arising from the school trust fund, will secure a thorough and efficient system of common schools throughout the state; but no religious or other sect, or sects, shall ever have any exclusive right to, or control of, any part of the school funds of this state.

I am waiting for someone to wake up and vote out the s offlaws who think “a thorough and efficient system” involves vouchers for religious schooling, under-regulated amateur charters, and outright fraudulent fake schools.  Paying a parent to give her li’l pumpkin limosine service is a waste of our dollars. The law should be changed.

Dave C.

Joe Lacey needs to pledge his hoodie as collateral on any further checks written by DPS.

james lewellyn
james lewellyn
AmericanIdiots
AmericanIdiots

Being the parent being paid to limo my lil’ punkin’ to school… I agree the payment is not needed (for me) and was surprised when I was asked to fill out the forms to receive it.

That being said, there was another comment in this thread about how awful parents must be to send their children to DPS, when it would seem pretty obvious that many parents don’t have the choice because of financial reasons. At the same time, if a parent does make the change to an option they can afford, they are also a bad person for taking funds they are technically due… not much common sense in those arguments.

 

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