A federal audit released Friday reveals that President Obama’s vaunted stimulus package funds, designed to help Baltimore City Schools, was completely wasted on non-educational priorities. According to the audit, federal stimulus and Title I bucks were used for makeovers and dinner cruises.
The Baltimore City Schools administration is in full spin mode. “Anytime there’s an audit of Title I dollars,” said Baltimore City Schools CEO Andres Alonso, “you’re going to see errors at the school level because schools spend money for what they need, and then sometimes they worry about if it fits the parameter of the grant later.” It remains unexplained how someone could make the “error” of labeling a makeover an expensable item for federal dollars.
All in all, the Department of Education says that in 2009 and 2010, over $4,300 was used on dinner cruises, $2,400 on PTA meals, $1,300 for a theater performance, and $500 for a mother/daughter makeover. The money, said Alonso, should have been used from the general fund rather than Title I cash.