The usual payouts that you would expect to see on a list of disbursements fro a school district are there, technology companies, educational suppliers, maintenance companies. But interspersed among these were several items paid to different restaurants, Urban Chicken, Seafood Palace, and Hobby's Deli were a few. Some of the amounts were fairly negligible, maybe a little over $100. Some of the amounts were a more than that. I asked an administrator friend of mine for some suggestions about what these charges could represent. She suggested that maybe there were some sports banquets or other such events that food was provided for. She also suggested that at meetings, etc there is often food that is provided that comes out of the budget. Overall, this total for one month came to nearly $24,000. Amazing how those cookie trays can add up, isn't it?
Looking through more of these numerous pages, another entry caught my eye. A payment was made to Cami Anderson herself for nearly $33,000. So again, back to my friend I went. The explanation that I received this time was that it may have been related to the car that the Cami was probably provided. Well, I was a little taken aback by that. A car. Why should a superintendent be given a car? I was told to think about it. After all, being a superintendent is a really tough job and well, getting qualified superintendents to accept positions in these districts is tough so extras like this are sometimes needed.
In the meantime, I have to wonder about a few things. Why am I being forced to research these items in the first place? I feel that there should be a little more transparency as to what each of the payouts is related to. A school board should have nothing to hide. Why are there so many payouts that are not directly related to providing for the students? Why are we so stuck in the way things have always been done that we cannot see that public schools need to make some changes in order to maintain their integrity of purpose? Why have there not been any changes made about some of these seemingly extraneous expenditures? The Newark School Board has been questioned this week in an open public forum about these food charges.