Audit: Weston school teachers are 'double dipping'
WESTON, Fla. (WSVN) -- A Broward County Schools internal audit uncovered that several teachers at a South Florida school were pocketing National Parent Teacher Association funds for extracurricular activities during school hours while also collecting regular wages.
The principal and PTA chapter of Manatee Bay Elementary School are being investigated in connection to Club 2:05, an after school club run by the PTA. According to the group's letterhead, it is "not an aftercare program," which separates it from the district's after school programs.
Some parents pay more than $1,000 to enroll one child for eight weeks. According to Club 2:05 documents, the fees "can be paid by cash, check made payable to Manatee Bay PTA or by credit card."
Several parents said, however, that the club does not provide them with a receipt for their payments. "We don't receive a receipt," said parent Liliana Skalla.
According to the audit, the school's PTA chapter does not issue receipts for some transactions for Club 2:05. The audit report reads in part, "When receipts are not used, there is a lack of accountability, making it impossible to confirm whether monies collected were deposited.
About a dozen Manatee Bay teachers are part of Club 2:05, and they are getting paid from $225 to $750 per session. They are also getting paid by the school district, something the chief auditor calls "double dipping" because some of the educators are still on the clock. "Teachers are being paid by the district for an hour of work not performed," the report states.
Manatee Bay principal Heather Hedman-Devaughn has been notified of the audit, and she is familiar with the process. According to a School Board letter, she was audited in 2009 while she was the principal at Lauderdale Manors Elementary. The inventory audit was conducted after items like computers and a piano went unaccounted for.
Upset parents took to the Internet to voice their disapproval on a blog.
Florida PTA, along with Broward County PTA, are looking into the matter. Broward PTA spokeswoman Latha Krishnaiyer released a statement which reads, "Once we are in possession of all the facts and information, we will be working closely with the PTA at Manatee Bay Elementary to provide guidance based on established PTA policy."
The audit report also named specific Manatee Bay PTA members, like the president and the treasurer, stating they too are getting paid. Even though they're supposed to be volunteers, they received checks in excess of $2,000.
Broward County Schools will not comment further until this report is completed.
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