Why do you think I have been saying for over a year that we should not give the Detroit Public School system the keys to the kingdom, with no oversight.

Now more proof of why I think so. The Detroit News is reporting that 14 people,13 employees, former employees and a vendor, have been charged with bribery and kickbacks to the tune of 1 million dollars.  See working for the government is profitable.

Funny that the public school educators, administrators and Superintendents say the Charter Schools need more oversight and put profits before the children.

The Detroit Public school board VP Ida short believed a lack of oversight in the school district was the cause of this happening.  Ms. Short was quoted in the Detroit News article stating:

“We have a czar over the district. ...We would ordinarily not have principals approving this level of contract. It’s too much money. It’s too easy for people to get greedy as you see.  We want to have the rights of every district in the state — to have an elected school board.”

Interesting because the  corruption started before the Emergency Manager took over Detroit.  How will they explain that one?

The School board is pointing fingers at the EAA the U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade was quoted in the article that the decision to file charges in the case had nothing to do with “DPS or the emergency manager.”  She went on to say “It’s about these 14 people who breached the public trust. The real victims are students and families who attend Detroit Public Schools. ... This case is a real punch in the gut for those who do the right thing”.

Now each of the 14 defendants will face up to five years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.  They are charged with conspiracy to commit federal program bribery.

The new emergency manager for the Detroit Public School system, Steven Rhodes, has put the following policies in place to attempt to stop further corruption:

  • Suspension of all purchases by individual schools until further notice
  • Requiring central office approval for all school-based purchases
  • Suspending the ability by principals and assistant principals to sign off on or execute any vendor agreements and contracts without central office approval by the superintendent’s office, finance and/or procurement.
  • Requiring two signatures on all school-based invoices before they will be paid,
  • They will be conducting a review of all purchases made by the employees identified by the U.S. Attorney, launching a full review of all school-based vendor contracts to determine if all or a portion need to be terminated and rebid
  • Recruiting an independent auditor to do a thorough review and assessment of procurement processes and procedures to ensure they are in compliance with all state and federal rules and regulations.

The question still is what in the heck is going on in Detroit?  Why is there seems to be an inordinate amount of corruption in that city still today?

What can be done there, it appears now one is doing their job correctly.

Should we just be handing over a minimum of $715 million taxpayer dollars to these people, regardless of who is overseeing them?

Houston we have a problem.

Let’s talk about this today on The Live with Renk Show, which airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts at (269) 441-9595.

Or please feel free to start a discussion and write your thoughts in the comment section