Start with a $50,000 grant, hold a fundraiser, lose $47,000


Phase three: Not profit.

Coolidge High School received a $50,000 grant from AOL Time Warner to help keep the school computer systems running. Add a bizarre and disastrous fundraiser run by a confessed fraudster, and the next thing you know, nearly all of the money vanished before the year was out.

Comments (8)
  1. McKay says:

    It’s not like $50,000 is enough to hire several people for several years to keep the computer systems running. If you’re lucky, it might last one year with one person, but yes, it’s sad that fraudsters got a hold of it.

  2. Neil (SM) says:

    The money was supposed to go towards hiring a single person for one year.

  3. porter says:

    They are merely following in the fine tradition and examples set by the current banksters with their TARPs and Madoffs.

  4. Cheong says:

    It makes me feel like as if the school takes the money for gambling… except when you gamble you have certain chance to win, but for this they’re destinated to lose.

  5. rob says:

    It’s DC. Probably one of the most corrupt school systems in one of the most corrupt local governments in the country.

  6. Tom says:

    There’s no gambling involved here.  The concert was intended to fail.  (Gospel music for high-schoolers?)  Haven’t you seen The Producers?

    It’s easier to embezzle money by holding a failed concert, than a successful concert.  It’s a matter of: "Gee, that’s too bad, you lost all my money on a concert."  Rather than "So where are the profits from the concert?"

    It’s hard to get rid of an entrenched culture of corruption.  China imposes the death penalty on officials caught embezzling from public funds, and people still do it.

  7. washingtonian says:

    It is perhaps worth mentioning that the school system now has new leadership–not that the old top leadership was corrupt, or that it did not try to manage. Caricaturing broadly there seem to be three school syndromes.

    Urban: a jobs and patronage machine that does not educate.

    Well off suburban: mania for test scores rendering the supervisor’s job uncertain.

    Poorer suburban, exurban, rural: hostility to taxes, schools squeezed for money.

  8. Falcon says:

    "…John M. Cashmon, the head of the school district’s audit office…"

    I wonder if his name influenced his career choice…

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