The DISD Credit Card Database

Taxpayer Moneycard

By now, everyone should have read Kent Fischer, Tawnell Hobbs and Molly Motley's excellent investigative report in the Dallas Morning News centering on millions of dollars spent charged to DISD's Visa procurement cards.

Watch Brett Shipp's Exclusive Report on WFAA TV Channel 8

Flashback to 2005: DISD Procurement Card Spending Almost $20 Million.

Below is a link to the Dallas.Org database of DISD procurement card charges from January, 2004 through December, 2005. Data is searchable by name or department.

In order to search the data, you will first need to register for an account.

Then you can search the database yourself by clicking here.

Air Conditioning

You can't really blame DISD for the problems at the schools.

Alot of the schools are under demo (being torn out) and there are other places where air is out at schools.

It is very hard to get parts, on the spot, since they did away with the credit cards. I know in the part I work at it is very hard to get parts.

They just need to release some money some how so we can get some parts and get the schools ready.

Yesterday I was at Bryan Adams and it was very hot in there. Everything is up and going except a couple of rooms.

[Ed Note: One "cure" for the procurement card blues would be to establish accounts at vendors--in your case: air-conditioning parts vendors. There would be quite a bit more oversight, and the spending would be restricted to specific needs. Novel concept, eh?]

RE: Air Conditioning

No matter where the fault should be, DISD kids/students and staff deserve air conditioning. No one in "corporate America" would be expected to work during the hottest months of the year in a small room where the heat is exhausting. I taught in Dallas ISD for many years and have to say that there were days that teachers and other staff members were so frustrated with the heat that they threatened to go home. There were a few instances where teachers/students passed out from being too hot. When you are sitting still in a seat and pass out from heat, that is WAY too hot.

A couple of years ago during the math portion of the TAKS test, my seventh graders were so hot that a few of them started to cry. The solution is always, "open a window" or "get a fan." Well, when it's hot outside neither the window or the fan is going to help.

Something needs to be done. In a day where so much emphasis is put on what the kids are learning and how the teachers are teaching, how does anyone expect the best from either group when it's hard to even breathe!

Blame the source

You can certainly blame DISD for lax oversite of its projects. The air has been on and off at Hill and BA for over a year now.

Pcards were still being used when the air problems started.

I have seen shoddy work, repairs and definite time overruns.

Travis TAG's repairs have been ridiculous with even occupation by the students threatened.

In this era of accountability, building maintenance and safety needs a looking at also.

Trusting Vendors

It is kind of hard to trust the venders on open purchase orders when every time you go in there the prices are diffrent. I know from the scandal about 4 or 5 years ago where people were trading vouchers for cash value at those supply houses.

I just think its the wrong solution. I just liked the credit cards better cause of we could go any where they took mastercard.

I know i work in the mechanical part of the DISD. we had to scramble just to get some parts so we could open up some of the schools.

[Ed Note: I hear you. However, procurement cards have nothing to do with stopping price gouging. The best way to stop price gouging is to tell us so we can get the "real" news media involved! One of our goals, at Dallas.Org, is to make it risky for people to do the wrong thing. Because, as you've seen, we don't warn. We publish!]

I Would Be Surprised

I would be surprised if anyone lost their job over this.

Just kidding!

Well, the powers at be might attempt (emphasis on attempt) to fire a few to make taxpayers believe they punished those guilty of violating district policy and/or state law. I will believe that when I see it. Of course, the district will then have to endure the appeals process for those who choose that route.

School districts are well known for taking some incompetent employees and promoting them or moving them to another department until their contracts runs out. Gee, wouldn't you like to have a two or three contract where you work?

OK, let's let the process work and see who is charged with what. I still believe in 'innocent till proven guilty', however, a reasonable and prudent person must agree that some of the items in the database are outrageously obscene. As for those not having receipts, all I can say is "Give me a break".

Most of all, I am truly sad for all the competent, loyal, hard-working employees who will be tarnished by the actions of those who took advantage of the system. I hope they hold their heads high during the trying times ahead. And the beat goes on.....

Where's the Beef?

How is it possible for one principal to be at two schools at the same time. One Principal was able to cheat the system by using a purchase card for a school she no longer worked at. Additionally, that elementary closed in May of 2005. This principal was able to ring up purchases total $15,397.04 from May 20th until December 14th.

I don't know much, but where I come from that is called fraud. If this type of oversight was permitted at this school, one can only suspect this occured at other schools throughout the entire disctrict.

If all of these purchases are legitimate, please someone show me where is all of the merchandise?

To quote the lady from the old Wendy's commercials - - "Where's the Beef?"

FedupinDallas

The cost of crime

The August DISD board briefing agenda lists item 5.84, "Agreement with Fish and Richardson P.C. for investigation of Procurement Card Program, $500,000 estimate". I keep thinking about the three employees on paid vacation, er...leave. Maybe they could be waxing floors or sorting books or something.

Re: Coggins and Johnson?

Interesting: an agenda item for $500,000.

Did that go out for bid? Who were the other bidders on this contract? Is that not just as illegal?

A contract for that amount of money should have been bid out and on the street for bidders for a little longer than this...how did it show up on the board agenda this quickly?

[Ed Note: They wanted and needed some big names and apropriate experience. The problem with bidding something like this is that you don't know what you're getting when you're through. Paul and Madeleine are known quantities. They'll do the job right. But $500K? Sheesh! I do too much stuff for free!]

What happened to justice?

What happened to justice?

Why are we assuming that all three are guilty?

I thought you are innocent until proven guilty?

Guess this is DISD justice?

[Ed Note: Paid Administrative Leave is not the same as firing someone. You are removing someone from the environment while conducting an investigation. It's fairer for them and safer for the District. Keep in mind, however, that if they broke district policy by not retaining their receipts, this in itself is a fire-able offense.]

It's Sad

Some schools will start the school year with an interim principal and without an area superintendent.

An assistant principal was arrested for pawning district laptops.

Months ago DISD students rally in the streets about immigration reform. They should do the same to demand better education and honest school leaders whose primary concern is student achievement.

It's sad.

It's not sad

These people bought it on themselves. Nobody told them to waste money. At one school where the principal was stealing money, those people were so happy that the person was gone, that they looked forward to going to work.

Why would the students rally for crooks? These are the same people that have prevent them from getting a proper education.

The same school that I keep talking about had good hardworking people leaving because that principal kept stealing money and denying kids the use of educational material. More than half the staff left because of that woman. She tried to get her stuff back and the police won't let her take anything with showing reciepts. They even took away containers that she bought to take her stuff from her because she didn't have reciepts for them.

You had all those low performing schools, how many were due to all this stealing? Personal stuff being bought instead of hiring staff.

In The Real World These People Would Be Fired

It's typical DISD fashion for the powers that be to remain indignant in press conferences and hire an audit and blah blah blah.

The bottom line is that DISD is filled with tons of administrators who have been hiding in education (with no background or academic contact with any students)charging left and right off the backs of taxpayers.

Nobody is questioning purchases made for school-related functions and items, but when I can look through more than HALF of this database and find rental car purchases,electronics,liquor, jewelry,dinner, dinner, dinner always on a FRIDAY...IT doesn't take a genius to figure it out.

Just exactly what is educationally related for purchase at TUESDAY MORNING, TJMAXX, KWIK CAR, and HOUSTON'S????

Yeah, big deal. But guess what?? Not ONE person will have to pay back squat and not one person from the District will be fired for it. Just ask Moses. In the real world, they would be fired.

Ex-U.S. attorneys lead DISD inquiry DMN Article11:11 PM CDT on T

I expect that a number of District employees will be a bit distracted when classes begin on Auguat 14. Those who have keep receipts will be fine, (As a parent of a student, I have some of those people in mind); however, a glance at the list makes me think those people who made numerous purchases at places such as Wal-Mart and who may not have kept receipts will be the ones whose activity will be carefully examined.
I am disappointed in Hinajosa. As a former DISD teacher, I spent hundreds of dollars of my own money on classromm supplies. As a parent,I have spent my own money feeding other people's children after school before an activity. As a taxpayer, don't get me started! I think Hinojosa has neglected his fiduciary duty. The taxpayers must wait for the DMN and sites such as this to uncover the scandals in DISD one at a time.

Sensational Ignorance

Although they say ignorance is bliss, ignorance can also be very misleading and dangerous when given a microphone and a news camera.

It never ceases to amaze me how non-educators can rally behind the cry of accountability, yet not have a clue as to the reality of the world of education. How many of you can say that you went to school and never had a pizza party or a Christmas party?

I am a taxpayer, and I am glad that schools will encourage and reward our children. Their lives are difficult enough. Let them have a pizza if it will encourage them to do better and to strive to accomplish goals.

Our principals have enough to think about without this new added pressure or fear of rewarding their staff members, students, and faculty. Let us not forget, we have a human element in the world of education.

I know teachers that spend hundreds of their own dollars every month trying to purchase things from Wal-mart, Home Depot, Family Dollar, etc. Things that enrich their students education.

So if a school district can utilize funds at the principals discretion to alleviate that strain from its teachers, then by all means they should. This is not corporate America we are dealing with, it is school, and there is a different need, that quite often, cannot come from a publishing company or "educator's store".

Teachers teach children who need to eat, play, rest, be motivated, and sometimes be clothed properly or cleaned up before they will pay attention to A-B-C. If we try to paint the canvas of education with the paint of the fictional, sensational, or minimal, we will reap this in our hard working educators, our young students, and our future.

Incentive and reward systems are an asset to education, not a burden. I applaud administrators who have the courage to lead in an understanding way, they touch humanity, their load is heavy.

[Ed Note: I'm sorry ... I'm still having trouble getting past the "give them a pizza party at taxpayer expense" argument. Reward for academic excellence should realized in other ways--acceptance to a good College or University, for example. These things will have far more meaning to struggling kids than pizza. The real problem I have is the lack of accountability for the spending of our tax dollars. This is what the current debate is about. Not pizza.

Concrete vs Abstract Rewards

Unfortunately, we have raised a generation of kids who need concrete and relatively immediate awards.

Acceptance to a good college or university is of course what we want for all students. However, that is an abstract concept for students whose parents never went to college.

Regardless of parental education, college is too far in the distance for most kids to see -- something we adults often forget.

Accountability in Question

I'm going to jump in here as a teacher who spent over $3000 in my own money last year and have come to look at some of the charges that my principal and others made over the past two years. I am appalled!!!

There were so many science related expenses that I was told couldn't be made -- so I took them out of my paltry paycheck.

Now I see the tens of thousands of dollars that those people spent on eating out!!!

They shopped at shoe stores. They spent money at clothing outlets!

There is no way that some of those expenses could be related to education.

I spent $4000 in property taxes on top of my out of pocket and I was a first year teacher so do your own math.

I had a regular classroom to teach a science class with ABSOLUTELY NO SUPPLIES.

Don't give these people an inch. With my own two eyes I can see the abuse of my tax dollars and more importantly the abuse of the children that most of us spent 14 hours a day trying against all odds to educate.

In my case, I was at a school where laws were being broken left and right and now I've come to find out that the people who were supposed to have the children in their sights, were spending my own money right out from under the kids they were in charge of helping.

DO NOT support the crooked who took advantage of the kids, because that's who they hurt in the end.

sensational ignorance

Note to the Ed. I wish you would spend all the time you spend on this site @ a DISD campus instead. There are many wonderful employees, even some w/ pcards, that could use your help.

You must live either in an ivory tower or a pedestal because you have painted an unfair picture of the pcard cardholders just because there are some people that thought of themselves first rather than the children.

You are going to hurt alot of good employees with all of your sensationalized journalism, if that is what you want to call it.

I know I will probably never see this posted but just felt like I should speak up for all of the "good, honest" DISD cardholders.

There are more than you think.

[Ed Note: Of course you'll see this posted! I'll even let it stand on its own merits!]

Sensational Ignorance - Part 2

To the Editor: Haven't you heard about Maslow's Hierarchy of needs? I am appalled by your ignorance about public education, child psychology and children in poverty.

[Ed Note: I wasn't aware that there was any credible study which recommended placing unbridled, unaudited discretionary spending at the whim of a credit card holder as a means to address these issues. These issues need to be addressed institutionally, and not by individuals claiming to be "Good Samaritans" with the public's Visa card.]

Sensational Ignorance - Part 3

It's not ignorance. I mean: what do you say to the school that buys stuff for the kids and refuses to allow the kids to use it. I know of a school that did this.

They bought new computers, radios and other stuff that the teachers and kids were not allowed to use.

I estimate 60% of stuff bought by one particular administrator was never used by students or staff.

Catering-aside from 2 events, the teachers and staff had to PAY for those meals.

New computers that just sat in the classrooms, never used.

Teachers had to beg to use TVs, they had to make do with one despite 20 others available for use.

Special classes had to use 1 cassette player for lessons despite brand new ones in the builduing. The answer they got was the kids would listen to music.

Also explain why a school would have purchased video games for kids to play at lunch? I could list more, but why bother.

The real loser in this scandal is Middle and Early College. They can't charge for books for the kids that are trying to get college credit in high school.

[Ed Note: The real losers in this scandal are all of us who are stakeholders in DISD. We've lost at many levels and, as has been pointed out, it is due to the actions of a very small number of people--along with entrenched mismanagement. There's more unbelievable stuff coming very soon!]

A Teacher ... Appalled

I too am a teacher, and am appalled at the use of funds in Dallas ISD.

I do spend my own money on supplies for my class, and I do so gladly.

For someone to say that spending tens of thousands at Wal Mart and TJ Maxx (yes, the same person) is being used for the kids has some serious issues.

Let's face it, they got away with it for a while, and got greedy. Now it is time to clean house.

Talking about kids needs, families of poverty, etc., is not an excuse for blatant misuse of tax dollars.

[Ed Note: Well put. Thank you for what you do for our kids.]

DISD P-card

Gee, the pizza parties at my kids' schools required that they bring $3.

I found one middle school in the datbase that charged $8,600 at Six Flags. Now that's a party! Why not send ALL DISD students there every year?

Lack of supervision and accountability will dig you a hole every time.

We should hope Dr. Hinojosa doesn't give up in disgust. He's dealing with problems created long before he got here.

Why Was Program Started?

Why was the pcard started in the beginning? Does anybody know? Was it providing any good for the district? It would be interesting to hear from some of the "good" cardholders.

[Ed Note: It was started in response to a suggestion made by Carole Keeton Strayhorn as a way to improve efficiency and reduce costs. But like so many other things, it fails to take into account human nature at times.]

Honest PCard User

I just retired this year after 32 years as a Family and Consumer Sciences teacher (formerly called Home Economics). I spent the last 20 years teaching Parenting and Child Development to DISD's pregnant and parenting teens at Maya Angelou High School. (formerly Health Special) Family and Consumer Science teachers provide basic life skills education in many subject areas to our DISD students as a part of Career and Technology Education. We are fortunate to have an adequate yearly budget allocation of funds to provide educational experiences for our students which include food science and nutrition labs, consumer education projects, clothing and apparel projects, child development and parenting lab experiences, community service projects, leadership opportunities in the FCCLA youth organization, plus many other creative lessons which dedicated FCS teachers prepare for their students.

I had a PCard for the past 4 years, as did many other FCS teachers who are listed in this database. By allowing us to transfer our budget funds to the card (with the prior approval of our supervisors as mandated by PCard Policy), we could spend money to get items for class at places like Target, Big Lots, Walgreen, Teachers Aide, Michaels, etc. I often checked and bought things on sale, which was not possible when we had to order everything from expensive mail order catalogs. We could also purchase our groceries for foods labs and use the cards. Since teachers work long hours during the week, I often made purchases of non-perishable items on my own time on Saturday/Sunday. I ordered supplemental textbooks for parenting classes as well as computer software and videos/DVD's over the phone from school and received them within two weeks, as opposed to the months and months (sometimes the next year)it took with the previous purchase order method. We could also order office supplies, including paper, pencils, pens etc. from Office Depot by 3 p.m. and have next day delivery for our students. This was a 100% improvement from ordering from the DISD Service Center which was another time consuming ordeal to receive supplies.

When I first received a PCard, I had a training from Sherri Brokaw and got a manual for use of the card. PCard users were to keep receipts for each purchase, match them to the monthly credit card statement and enter the purchases/line codes used for purchase on a form. The cardholder had to fax a copy of the monthly statement/plus certify "This statement is correct" to the PCard office. We were then to attach all of these records together and keep them in a yearly file. In August 2005, we received a new PCard manual with even more detailed record keeping required, including the signature of our supervisor on the statement to be faxed to the PCard office. I followed these procedures carefully because I felt fortunate to be able to provide supplies for my classes in this manner. The other FCS teachers I know felt the same.

I too am livid about the blatant "stealing from the students" which has been done by many, including high level administrators. I feel that those who did not follow the DISD PCard procedures and cannot provide receipts for expenses, should not only be made to repay DISD, but should be terminated immediately. I believe that Dr. Michael Hinojosa is serious about identifying those who improperly used the cards and will deal with them swiftly and severely. Although I turned in my PCard to my principal on the last day of school before my retirement and am glad the PCard program has been eliminated, I am sorry that the dishonesty of some people will ultimately punish those who used them correctly to provide better educational experiences for their students.

Thank you

for speaking for the silent majority of cardholders that were honest.

We all want the ones that did wrong to be dealt with but there are also going to be alot of good cardholders that are going to suffer because of this minority.

[Ed Note: So tell me what's wrong with going through the purchasing process? What's wrong with planning your purchases and having others scrutinize them before issuing a purchase order? One other question: did you retain all your receipts and note what the purchases were for?]

thank you

Honest user: So you would be a very good person to ask what the policy stated about P-card holders using it for personal purchases to avoid finance charges or some other selfish reason.

Was it o.k. to use the card in this way if you paid the district back?

Was it o.k. to shop at Ann Taylor, K&G or Dillards?

Even now, it sounds as if all misusers have to do is write a check and all will be well if they can't come up with the receipts.

I only have half the years in that you have served, and it is sad to say that many of us cannot even fathom completing a number in the 30's.

Kudos to you on sharing your thoughts on this shameful episode and congratulations on your retirement.

I can at least say that I am lucky to have had several mentors of your calibur over the years.They, as well as other honest P-card users do exist.

Should take action

It's good to know that there are still people who can be honest.

I do agree strongly with Michael Hinojosa that those who misused the cards should not only pay back but should be terminated as well.

We are here to help our children learn, and to get an education not to steal from them.

Correction - Pizza

Somebody asked about the Pizza Hut charges. I know at one school the pizza was bought as a reward for earning points based on dress code and behavior. The remaining pizza boxes was given to the kids. It was for the kids only and yet the admistrators order enough for them and not staff.

I will note that some pizza places have deals about pizzas. I know Dominos had a deal about ordering pizzas and getting them for 4 dollars a pizza if you ordered a certain number.

So that is one expense you could overlook.

[Ed Note: This is a complicated issue. It will only be solved with an audit.]

It's simple

If a teacher or administrator spent the money for the right cause, produce the receipts. That clears the air for any expenditure that's in question.

[Ed Note: It's also important to note that district policy requires all receipts to be kept. If an individual cannot produce receipts, he or she is in violation of DISD policy. So you're correct, receipts will clear 99% of the people whose names appear in the database on this website. The other 1% are going to have problems!]

Re: It's simple

I am not sure how simple it is. It seems most of the people on this site have convicted all the teachers and administrators of criminal activity and wrongdoing, including the owner of this site (which is a very good site by the way).

If the charges are proven to be legitimate, a public official is still tainted no matter what the outcome. In my opinion, it is not "innocent until proven guilty" it is "guilty until proven innocent" or just plain "guilty, I don't care what the investigation proved."

[Ed Note: It is not our intent to condemn anyone or accuse them of wrongdoing. It is our intent to condemn the lack of oversight in the program that led to the sensational news stories. We began warning the District of this issue a year ago but for whatever reason, the warnings fell through the cracks. That being said, we'd like to reiterate the following from the front page of the search engine:]

Broad Brush Warning!

Be aware that just because someone's name appears in a search here, this does not necessarily indicate wrongdoing. After all the upcoming audits, the overwhelming majority of the charges in this database will turn out to have been legitimate.

Though this database shows dates, amounts and merchants, it does not show the detail of what was purchased. For instance, a record may reflect a $200 charge made at Wal Mart. From this data, it is impossible to tell if that was $200 in office supplies or a $200 iPod.

The vast majority of employees in our school district are honest, hardworking and genuinely care about the future of our kids. Please keep this in mind and try not to paint all these employees with an overly broad brush.

I know it's not everyone...

it's a select number of people that are abusing the system. I'm sure the auditors are skilled in finding out exactly what was bought.

Remember a Year Ago...

Remember that a year ago the central staff was cut to balance the budget and to allow more money to go the classroom. You must provide tools to do the job and sometimes the tools are people. I don't think it was realistic to expect two people to do this work of course that is not what the new admin will want to hear.

[Ed Note: Throwing money at a problem doesn't guarantee a solution. Throwing people at a problem doesn't guarantee a solution. A "solution," by definition "solves" a problem--something for which (unfortunately) there's no automatic process. Until we effectively manage the District at all levels, there will be great pain and gnashing of teeth.]

Seagoville Students to Universal Studios?

Ok first off I went to 9 different schools in DISD growing up. And that was before the 9th grade. The education for the most part was a joke and if you’re going to pay taxes for a good school, then your teachers at your school or any school for that matter should not be spending anywhere close to theses amounts.

One teacher bought 15 airline tickets (could be for the band or something). Then later on he bought 4 airline tickets and at the end of that month there are 15 charges in California for rent cars, food, theme parks, Starbucks (go to 7/11).

I mean come on all this cant be for the kids or DISD. I’m not sure when they take spring break but I bet its close to some of this California spending.

No wonder I can’t spell!

[Ed Note: That's OK, that's what editors do! ...correct spelling... not take their employees to Disneyland!]

I'm wondering....

What positions some of these people hold in these schools. I could understand (for example) a band director making charges at Brooke Mays but not any of the other staff.

An Elem. school teacher might grab up some clearance material while at Walmart or Albertsons for student incentives but not a high school teacher. And why would ANY teacher need to charge Pizza Hut on a Friday?

I can't imagine it's acceptable to anyone to be picking up the tab for someones lunch/dinner. Especially, when there is supposed to be such a shortage of available funds for the absolute neccesities.

I'm very interested to see the fallout of all of this when the dust settles. These people do owe the Dallas taxpayers an explanation for these expenses & I hope they get what they have coming to them.

They aren't just cheating the Dallas taxpayers but also the children of Dallas who depend on them for their education.

wondering

I am not justifying anyone's actions, but in response to why a high school teacher might need to buy something at WalMart. I teach 8th grade science. There are many lab supplies schools do not have. Last year I spent over $500 of my own money at grocery stores, walmart, and such stores on wire, bolts, marshmallows, soap, etc for labs to help students learn (instead of just reading out of a book). If someone was given a card to buy those things instead of spending their own money, that might explain something.

Also, Pizza Hut on a Friday- It might be interesting to know if the teacher was a coach. He/she could have been buying dinner for students before a game. If the teacher was a drama or music teacher, he/she may have been buying dinner for students before a performance if the students did not have time to go home.

Again, I am not defending anyone's actions, but I do think that some things are explainable.

Database Request!

Please add 'vendor' as one of the searches. That way we can type stuff in like Best Buy and see who spent the most money. Also a seach field for type of store, so we can type "jewelry" and see the same type of reporting.

Same old song and dance

I don't know what is more amazing. The actual dollar amounts spent or the lack of morals that our educational staff seems to have. I realize that "some" of these charges are accounted for - but, come on. I just wonder how much our kids saw of Starbucks, Bed Bath & Beyond and the Donut store.

I heard a potential DISD intern on the radio this afternoon who said she was given a $100 gift card from Wal-Mart when she was selected to intern for DISD. And, she received it right before they cancelled the intern program for lack of organization.

The sad reality of this is (just like everything else that goes on in Dallas) that once the 'hype' is over, I'll bet MY P-card that no one is fired, no one is charged, and no money is recovered.

[Ed Note: Don't bet the farm on that. The Michael Hinojosa I've seen is rather upset at this whole thing--and he's the kind of guy to do something about it!]

Why upset?

Upset because of fraud or upset at bad publicity for his administration?

The next question I have to ask is how the district is going to improve the service centers so that schools can actually get supplies in a timely manner? And will supplies be of a workable quality that is actaully appropriate for a classroom?

I almost think that we should have an academic superintendent and a business superintendent. Looks like most schools could use the same system with their principals.

Corporate Cards

While on the best of days the spending itself may seem justified, there is no way to justify the lack of oversight regarding the spending.

In ANY corporate spending environment there are always checks and balances in place to prohibit just this type of gross spending. What irks me is that the credit card issuer could have issues individual bill/individual liability cards that would have required the spender to submit an expense report and have the spending approved.

I promise you that if a spender has some "skin in the game" then they will follow the district policy much more closely.

The issuer should have known that the centrally billed structure would bring havoc to the district and should have steered them to an individual plan. The good news for the district is that they have been getting some type of significant rebate if they have been paying the bill on time.

[Ed Note: Rebate? This is DISD. Surely you jest!]

Rebates to DISD?

Do we know how much, if any, rebate the District received? That would be interesting to see.

Urban vs. Suburban schools

Dallas is an urban school district, guys. I know most of you don't understand what that means fully, but to you "suburbanites", let me explain:

There is a dysfuctional PTA in almost every school with the exception of the lucky 10%.

In suburban schools, a principal can call the administrative offices and tell them what he or she needs in their school for the year and, lo and behold, it gets delivered shortly before the school year begins. In an urban district, principal calls, gets no response. Finally the principal gets a response in the middle of said school year, saying, "get it yourself'.

Our schools are such that in a huge district such as this (fifth largest in the U.S) the head administration uses such devices as the procurement card to enable its employees without constantly calling up for requests. And, yes, sadly there are those who take advantage of those rights, but that is the stupid 5% of the employees.

[Ed Note: It is those 5% we're worried about because, whether or not you're DISD or Highland Park, money doesn't grow on trees. Somebody had to earn it. It doesn't give each individual unilateral discretion on how to spend it. Sorry if you disagree. It's my money they're wasting!]

And guess what? People like these are in every career in the nation.

We all know those who take office supplies from their cubicle. Tachers buying furniture, big deal, we still use desks from the 1980's. Grocery stores, whatever, they had a sale on needed items for the classroom.

Point is, the rich districts can't tell the poorer districts how they should spend their money, because, well, they are the haves, aren't they?

[Ed Note: Well, OK, how about if I as a DISD taxpayer tell you how you can and can't abuse my money? Will that sit better with you? The audits and investigations can't come soon enough!]

Don't Forget DISD Student Achievers

They fare very well compared to private and suburban schools:

Note! Woodrow 2, St. Mark's 3, Highland Park 1, Lake Highlands 1, Jesuit 1, Hockaday 1, Greenhill 1, Episcopal School of Dallas 2, Bishop Lynch 0, Ursuline 0.

Also congrats to DISD's W.T. White 1, Bryan Adams 1 and TAG Magnet 1.

College-sponsored Merit Scholarships

12:00 AM CDT on Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Following is information provided by the National Merit Scholarship Program on recipients of its college-sponsored Merit Scholarships. Officials of each sponsor college selected winners from among finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program who will attend their institution.

Addison

Nicholas Saltarelli, W.T. White High School, Baylor University

Arlington

Christine Elkins, Fort Worth Country Day, Texas A&M University

Aaron Hollis, Lamar High School, University of Texas at Austin

Carrollton

Kayla Allen, Newman Smith High School, Baylor University

Geoffrey Allison, R.L. Turner High School, University of Oklahoma

Jessica Bolton, Hebron High School, Southwestern University

Andrew Stiefel, Creekview High School, Baylor University

Colleyville

Tristan Whalen, Fort Worth Christian School, University of Dallas

Coppell

Nathan Guo, Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science, University of Texas at Austin

Rachna Patel, Coppell High School, University of Texas at Austin

Shiyu Tao, Coppell High School, University of Texas at Austin

Dallas

Zachary Buchanan, Woodrow Wilson High School, Northwestern University

Alana Christie, Bryan Adams High School, University of Oklahoma

Evelyn Crabb, Woodrow Wilson High School, University of Texas at Austin

Bobby Crews, Cistercian Preparatory School, University of Southern California

Robert Dockery, St. Mark's School of Texas, Washington University in St. Louis

Jordan Drawbridge, Hockaday School, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Grace Dunn, Dallas Christian High School, University of North Texas

John French, St. Mark's School of Texas, University of Texas at Austin

Alexander Frolov, Richardson High School, Southern Methodist University

Abigail Goring, Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science, Texas A&M University

Lauren Hollis, Talented and Gifted Magnet School, University of Texas at Dallas

Allison Knight, Highland Park High School, University of Oklahoma

Andrew Kreighbaum, Lake Highlands High School, Arizona State University

Peter Mataragas, Episcopal School of Dallas, Vanderbilt University

Caleb Miller, Jesuit College Preparatory School, University of Texas at Austin

Fairview

Alexander Haynes, Allen High School, Southern Methodist University

Flower Mound

Monica Chang, Flower Mound High School, Northwestern University

Shagun Dhaliwal, Marcus High School, University of Oklahoma

Lauren McDonald, Marcus High School, University of Oklahoma

Paul Recchia, Flower Mound High School, Michigan State University

Shawn Schepel, Flower Mound High School, Texas A&M University

Neha Thakore, Flower Mound High School, University of Texas at Austin

Fort Worth

Mackenzie Kolarich, Trinity Valley School, Carleton College

Sarah Norris, Paschal High School, University of Oklahoma

Hanna Smokoski, Arlington Heights High School, Arizona State University

Dave Taylor, Paschal High School, University of Oklahoma

Garland

Priya Hora, Greenhill School, University of Texas at Austin

Lauren Petkovsek, North Garland High School, University of Oklahoma

Grand Prairie

Katherine Martin, Bowie High School, University of Oklahoma

Rebecca Thompson, Grand Prairie High School, University of Alabama

Grapevine

Elissa Butler, Grapevine High School, Macalester College

Jessica Lin, Grapevine High School, University of Missouri-Columbia

Kyle Moller, Grapevine High School, University of Kansas

Richard Thomas, Grapevine High School, Rice University

Highland Village

Brien Gale, Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science, University of Texas at Austin

Jessica Hinman, Marcus High School, University of Southern California

Justin Simon, Marcus High School, University of Texas at Austin

Irving

Mackenzie Garfield, Episcopal School of Dallas, Texas A&M University

Keller

Matt Pierce, Keller High School, University of Oklahoma

Thomas Woodward, Keller High School, American University

Lewisville

Peter Hutley, Lewisville High School, Rice University

North Richland Hills

Joseph Ellmore, Richland High School, Abilene Christian University

Plano

Jacqueline Chen, Plano High School, Washington University in St. Louis

Christopher Choi, Plano West High School, Rice University

Soojeong Chung, Plano High School, University of Southern California

Andrew Clark, Plano West High School, Texas A&M University

Diane Davis, Plano West High School, Pepperdine University

Shelby Dover, Plano East High School, University of Texas at Austin

Megan Gier, Plano West High School, Northwestern University

Joshua Liu, Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science, University of Texas at Austin

Jason Lo, Plano West High School, Emory University

Jason Metcalfe, Plano West High School, Southern Methodist University

Jason Parker, Trinity Christian Academy, University of Chicago

Allison Prochnow, Plano East High School, University of Texas at Austin

Jason Scovell, St. Mark's School of Texas, Baylor University

Amanda Sherwood, Plano West High School, University of Oklahoma

Jessica Shie, Plano West High School, University of Texas at Austin

Dennis Shung, Plano East High School, Rice University

Jeffrey Stark, Plano High School, University of Texas at Austin

Dennis Tang, Plano High School, New York University

Richardson

Judy Huang, Berkner High School, Texas A&M University

David Tsai, Plano East High School, University of Texas at Austin

Roanoke

Tyler Ferguson, Nolan Catholic High School, Wabash College

Rockwall

Kathleen Casstevens, Rockwall High School, University of Texas at Austin

Southlake

Meredith Boroughs, Keller High School, University of Oklahoma

Throw the baby out with the bathwater

The credit card program was instituted to facilitate small purchases where going through the procurement process would be cumbersome and delay the receipt of the purchased item by weeks. It bothers me that the whole program will be discarded because of a few abuses. Punish the abusers and tighten up the system. But do not get rid of (what could be) a good program.

I chuckle at those who ask "where was the oversight". The public has been clamoring for the elimination of non-teaching positions. The District has responded. As a result, mid-level managers are overburdened and unable to attend to all of the little details. One person cannot do the work of five and do it as effectively! I dare say that every department in the district has employees who are doing their best but who are overwhelmed by all of the responsibilities that have been piled upon them over the years.

[Ed Note: Well, I guess we'll need to agree to disagree here. The amount of effort necessary to "tighten up the system" may well cost more than the program saves. The program needs to go, and we need to chalk it up to "a nice try that didn't work."]

Get Rid of Abusers

Get rid of the abusers, not only with P-Cards, but also the dead weight, scoot over and make room for those that WANT to work.

Yes, I'm sure the P-cards are nice when supplies are needed right away, but there is also the question of planning, PLAN AHEAD. Another drawback is that there are a lot of vendor's that no longer want to deal with the district due to waiting month's on end to get paid.

So to the Deadweight, "Get the vendor's paid in a timely manner, so that a p-card is not used as the only means of purchase"

To the Abusers: "Purchase your own bicycle supples, clothing, rent cars, meals, sheets, etc" To one specific abuser: "You know you were WRONG, and claim to have no receipts to boot, hmmmm, trout left out on a hot day smells better than this"

I hope you and everyone else that abused the system is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. (I'll be looking out for her job posting, I may just apply)!

P-Card Spending

Bicycles are purchased as rewards for the children.

Clothing is purchased for the children who come to school with very little on, especially in the winter.

Sometimes girls need undergarments under thin blouses.

Sometimes children who slept with baby sis or brother, smell like urine.

Sometimes there is no running water at home, and the children are quite dirty and embarrassed.

Children who participate in activities after school need to be fed.

I am grateful there are schools that tried to meet the needs of the children so that they could participate and feel good about themselves.

[Ed Note: There are procedures in place to handle every situation you have referenced. They do not involve discretionary spending on a district procurement card.]

P-Cards Need To GO!!!!

I am a former DISD teacher (I recently moved on to another school district)and the thing that saddens me the most is the highlighted abuses of the procurement card, yet teachers still don't have what they need for the classroom.

This past year, the school I was in went much the year without paper. We would have paper for a week and then go without for 3-4 weeks. We ran out of transparencies before the x-mas break and NEVER had anymore for the remainder of the year.

For those of you who may not be classroom teachers, these two items make your job so much more difficult, especially when you're expected to model something, then guide students through it, and then allow students to work on their own. Some things you can't just write on the board or an overhead, such as an entire story.

If the expectation is that teachers increase test scores, at the very least we need to have the essentials to teach the subjects. With this being said, I agree that the cards need to be nixed. In my opinion they served no purpose. If we still don't have what we need, why have them?

I never had resources to prepare my kids for TAKS, unless I bought them myself and much of the paper used throughout the year was purchased by me. Many of the purchases made by the school I taught at, were for Office Max or educational stores, but considering I personally never saw any of these new materials, it makes me wonder where those thousands of dollars went to.

I need to see some receipts!!!!

Additional Audit

How much does an additional audit cost? Do you think that the amount of abuse will be more or less than the cost of an audit? We're throwing more money around again. There should be some initial checks and balances to prevent the abuse!

[Ed Note: You are correct in that there is a cost attached to an audit, but it's more than worth it. You see, if someone is going to be dishonest in one area, they're going to be dishonest in others. Those who abused their procurement cards need to be dealt with and removed from positions where the public's trust can be violated. Put in past-present-future perspective, an audit is always money well spent.

Probably Just Less Than

Probably (it would cost) just less than $50,000 since that is the amount that the board would need to approve. So far I haven't seen that much in abuse. The DMN and Mr. Gwinn would try to make it seem like there has been but of course that makes people buy papers and read his web site.

[Ed Note: "Abuse" depends on your perspective. There might be taxpayers reading this website who believe that spending $40 Million dollars, largely unaudited and virtually unaccountably, would constitute "abuse." I would also like to know how you made the determination as to what was and was not abuse...since the purpose of each transaction has not been (and is not) readily available!]

Now, I don't know what to think

Even if I pardon ALL the food because that's just DISD(you know)--'say it with food...'; I don't know what to think about some of the dept. and speciality store listings.

I can't think of an appropriate incentive gift that would come from some of them.

I keep thinking even after all these years maybe there really is something they learn in "administrator school" with regard to justification that I'm not supposed to know.

I too, almost wish I had not read the list beyond what was in the paper.

Parts

Don't you know that this is how dallas isd gets parts for the workers to up keep the schools?

Re: Parts

Yes, it's not the parts to keep up the schools that anyone's worried about! It's the lack of control, and the inability to audit, expenditures. It's a very poorly managed program, likely full of abuse, and it needs to be overhauled.