Audit Finds $10.4 Million in Overspending in Pawtucket Schools

Wouldn’t it be great if we could unleash these guys in every school district?

Cotton & Company, an auditing firm based in Virginia, has found $10.4 million in overspending in the Pawtucket school system. And here’s the kicker: school officials ordered the audit last fall in order to bolster their case for getting an additional $4 million from the city. Oops. Here are some of the areas where they saw savings, according to the Pawtucket Times:

●$4.3 million from closing one elementary and one junior high school.

● $1.25 million by increasing elementary school class size.

● $1.07 by eliminating 18.5 custodial positions.

● $640,000 by sending students at Jacqueline M. Walsh School for the Performing and Visual Arts be sent to Tolman High School for some classes and eliminating one of the principals.

● $1 million from cutting 32 ‘floating assistant’ positions—now, that sounds like essential staff, doesn’t it?

Well, needless to say the school administration isn’t so happy. Here is what they told the Pawtucket Times:

Since the publication of the data, Interim Schools Supt. Hans Dellith released a statement saying, “The improper and premature release of this draft information does a grave disservice to the people of Pawtucket, the employees of the Pawtucket School Department, the students of Pawtucket, and the companies conducting the audit.”

Dellith noted, “The draft document provided by the consultant, Cotton & Company, was an initial step in a multi-step process. These original draft statements do not reflect potential violations of Rhode Island Contract Law, potential failure to meet State of Rhode Island Education Standards, as well as potential use of invalid data and erroneous assumptions. To put forth this document prior to an overall review of these serious issues leads itself to reckless speculation and erroneous conclusions. Until this process is brought to a proper conclusion, the draft document creates a dangerous environment for misinformation and disinformation.”

In other words: How dare they release this information before we had a chance to bury the truth in a pile of bureaucratic mumbo jumbo!

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