Montgomery school board, critics at odds over $140,000 legal bill.

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First there was public uproar about how members of Montgomery County’s Board of Education used their district-issued credit cards. Now comes fallout regarding the $140,000 in legal bills that piled up as the records for those credit cards went under review and investigation.

Board President Phil Kauffman (At Large) defended the legal costs in a commentary recently published by The Washington Post, arguing that hiring outside lawyers to examine members’ spending decisions was “the right thing to do” as the school board sought to examine its own actions and come up with new procedures.

“Objectivity was an important part of this process,” he wrote, saying that the board hired the Venable law firm for its experience handling public-integrity issues. The board asked Venable to review board expense records, provide a written report and recommend actions.

“This is standard operating procedure when an organization is reviewing its own practices, whether it’s a business, a sports league or a government agency,” Kauffman wrote.

But several Montgomery County Council members and a Montgomery watchdog group have challenged the need to involve outside lawyers and assailed the cost of the help.

“I just don’t think there is any way you can tie a ribbon on the fact that our school board spent $140,000 getting advice on how to stop wasting money and make it look good,” County Council member George L. Leventhal (D-At Large) said.

Council member Phil Andrews (D-Gaithersburg-Rockville) said he found the hiring of the law firm wasteful and unnecessary. “The solution was obvious: to get rid of the credit cards and adopt policies that were reasonable,” he said.

This is a total scam by the the school board, which could have hired an independent accounting firm – even a Big 4 – trained in forensic auditing for no more than a third of that cost. And I was a partner in one in for 30 years, so I know how much it costs to audit a dozen credit cards and review the controls and policies over their use.

>>>Read more Washington Post.

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Don’t stop.

“Don’t Stop” is a song by the rock group Fleetwood Mac, written by vocalist and keyboard player Christine McVie.

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It was used by U.S. presidential candidate Bill Clinton as the theme for his first campaign, most notably at the 1992 Democratic National Convention. Upon winning the election, President Clinton persuaded the then-disbanded group to reform to perform it for his inaugural ball in 1993. At the 2000 DNC, he ended his speech by saying, “Keep putting people first.

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PGCPS Board files Notice of Appeal in the Fourth Circuit.

….In order to continue milking the system for more cash after the jury made the decision.

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Prince George’s County Public Schools Board of Education is appealing a Federal Jury verdict in the case of Mr. Jon Everhart a White male teacher who faced reverse racism in the Prince George’s County under the leadership of Embattled Principal Simpson Marcus at Largo High School.

Thatcher Law Firm, the attorney for the Prince George’s County Public Schools, filed an appeal on Thursday October 16, 2014 in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond Virginia. (See Attached >> Appeal) The appeal probably challenges the Federal Jury verdict, that the decision was “arbitrary and unreasonable” of which it was not.

The Federal District Court, in its October 10th, 2014 order, denied DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR JUDGMENT NOTWITHSTANDING THE VERDICT. The denial affected the Prince George’s County public schools on how it treats employees and now creates a land mark case for future cases somewhat. It also means the Principal at Largo High school must start looking for another job as a result of her actions.

By law, the local board of education had 30 days, to file an appeal in United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond Virginia. The appeal positions the local school system to continue furtherance of the diabolical agenda – milking the system of taxpayer funding through unnecessary litigation and make money for themselves while advancing mismanagement of scarce resources. This is unacceptable! On this note,  Jon Everhart must be paid his money.

“The jury spoke and everyone knows what happened at Largo. Why is the PGCPS management led by Brother in Law to Rushern Baker keen on dragging this case? What happened to common decency?” One concerned citizen inquired recently. Discrimination and retaliation, bribing of attorneys, MABE fiasco in which “No Bid” contracts are enacted as a way of life against the state law must be brought to an end in PGCPS. It’s time to demand changes!

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President Obama: What You Need to Know About Ebola.

“I want people to understand that the dangers of you contracting Ebola, the dangers of a serious outbreak are extraordinarily low. But we are taking this very seriously at the highest levels of government. We are going to be able to manage this particular situation, but we have to look towards the future. And if we are not responding internationally in an effective way, and if we do not set up the kind of preparedness and training in our public health infrastructure here in the United States, not just for this outbreak, but for future outbreaks, then we could have problems.”

Ebola continues to be a public health and national security priority, and President Obama and his administration continue to take aggressive measures to respond.

The United States continues to help lead the global response to stop the Ebola outbreak at its source in West Africa, while enhancing our preparedness here at home.

Get the latest CDC updates on the current outbreak, and continue reading to see what the U.S. is doing to end this epidemic.>>> Read more  The Administration’s Response to Ebola

Understand the Facts

  • It’s not transmitted through the air like the flu.
  • According to public health authorities, the only way a person can get Ebola is by coming into direct contact with the body fluids (urine, saliva, sweat, feces, vomit, breast milk and semen) of someone who is already showing symptoms.
  • If the person does not have symptoms, they are not contagious

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>>> Read more  The Administration’s Response to Ebola

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Leadership crisis a pure mess in L.A. schools could be a movie

— but you wouldn’t believe the plot.

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Then-Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy listens during a Feb. 14, 2012, school board meeting. Deasy announced his resignation on Thursday. (Damian Dovarganes/AP)

Los Angeles is all about movie-making, so how ridiculous would you find a flick with the following plot?

It opens with the hard-charging superintendent of the Los Angeles school system, the nation’s second largest, abruptly resigning after 3½ years. (That is longer than he spent as superintendent in Prince George’s County, Md., years earlier before he abruptly resigned from that post). We see the U.S. education secretary expressing “disappointment” in the departure, but the teachers in the 640,000-student system are throwing a party. Conflict established. Tension builds.

Flashbacks follow,  scenes of highlights of the hard-charging superintendent’s tenure. He is one of the new “reformers,” with connections to billionaires who have taken it upon themselves to spend parts of their fortune to change education in the way they think it should be changed. He promises to shake things up with technology and new “accountability” systems. And he does.

He insists that teachers be evaluated in large part by the standardized test scores of their students, even though assessment experts say it’s an awful idea. The teachers unions are not amused.

He decides it would be a good idea to buy a tablet for every student and teacher in the system (even though they all don’t have air conditioning in their hot classrooms). He comes up with $1 billion or so to buy iPads in an effort that is flimsily planned, badly executed and carries with it an odor of conflict of interest that leads to an official investigation into the hard-charging superintendent’s role in awarding contracts to Apple and Pearson (for the curriculum put on the iPads).

There is a scene showing students who, upon getting their iPads, hack into them to play games and talk to their friends on Facebook and Twitter because the security locks were weak. Apparently, no adult involved with this project thought teenagers would try to use the computers for anything other than school work. We also see the moment in the district offices when it is discovered that nobody thought to allocate money to purchase keyboards for the tablets and a mad scramble ensues to find the funding.

The hard-charging superintendent then oversees a $130 million software program designed to track student data — but the rollout was so botched that teachers couldn’t tell which classes students were taking and couldn’t insert grades into the system.  You can write that scene yourself. >>> Read more Washington Post.

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School Board Should Consider Tossing Credit Cards.

…Pr. George’s Co. Exec:

Rushern Baker - Appears to be driving corruption to new heights

Mr. Rushern Baker –The current County Executive for Prince George’s County is known not to be a man of his word according to Prince George’s County NAACP Chapter and is deeply involved in the scandal comprising Dr. kevin Maxwell. Let us see what happens with the credit cards fiasco. Now that he has been made aware.

The executive of Prince George’s County said Friday the county school board should consider tossing their taxpayer-funded credit cards, after the News4 I-Team revealed that a few board members had spent thousands of dollars on pricey restaurant meals.

Rushern Baker says he wants the school board to review its ethics rules and consider getting rid of these taxpayer-funded, government-issued credit cards.

“I was very disturbed,” Baker said. “We thought we thought we’d gone past this.”

“I think it’s a wake up call for the school board,” Baker added.

After the I-Team’s investigation, the district asked its auditor to review credit card policies to increase fiscal accountability. The review expected to be complete within a few weeks.

The I-Team investigation found that Prince George’s County school board members had spent several thousand dollars on more than 120 meals at restaurants near school district headquarters at taxpayers’ expense over the last 18 months.

Those meals included room service breakfasts, and dozens of lunches and dinners, some within close range of home and the board offices.

According to the I-Team’s review of expense receipts, many of the meals were purchased by two of the 14 board members: Carolyn Boston and Verjeana Jacobs.

Those members swiped their cards for dozens of restaurant lunches and dinners while meeting with other board members, local leaders or each other.

The two defended their expenses as important and allowable.

When asked why they meet with each other to eat — sometimes close to the office — Jacobs replied, “We also meet with constituents and board members from other areas.”

Said Boston: “When we meet together to talk about issues or things that’re going on with the board, I think that’s appropriate.”

The district says under current rules, all those meals are allowed.

Baker is not the only elected official who has expressed concerns about the spending.

Del. Alonzo Washington, D-Hyattsville, said earlier this month that he’ll consider introducing legislation in January to prohibit the district from issuing credit cards to its board members. >>> Read more News4 I-Team  >>> Read moreMajor scandal unfolding in PGCPS.

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Former school board chair now New president of MABE.

… She helped advance corruption in PGCPS District in various ways which led to the system take over by the county Government.

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Verjeana Jacobs raise to power to control Maryland schools through MABE after years of corruption including mismanagement of PGCPS credit cards is not a welcome recipe for Maryland schools. Clearly, a major blunder for Maryland. 

Verjeana Jacobs, Prince George’s County Board of Education member (Dist. 5) has been named president of the Executive Board of Directors for the Maryland Association of Boards of Education, becoming the third county representative to hold that position in the organization’s 50-plus year history.

Jacobs said her new role will allow her to better advocate for the needs of Prince George’s County, including needs for new school construction, that are faced by other counties as well.

Jacobs served as chair of the Prince George’s County school board from 2007 until June 2013, when a state law change gave County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) the authority to appoint Segun Eubanks, director of teacher quality for the national teacher’s union, to head the school board.

Jacobs was elected secretary of the MABE leadership board in 2012, putting her in line to automatically become president in 2014. Read more >>> Gazette

>>> Read more ~ MABE Corruption ruining schools in Maryland.

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stop corruption

Read More >>>In Pr. George’s County, momentum builds against cellphone towers at school sites.

The future of public education here in Prince George’s County is at stake more than ever before, and the future of Prince George’s children and Maryland schools is at risk. We must lift our voices and be heard.

Together, we can make a difference.

With your support we can create partnerships of great purpose to improve education and wellness, increase opportunity for all children and families, reduce corruption, create economic opportunity and growth, and help communities address the effects of mega fraud while advancing change in Maryland. Otherwise, we demand a regime change ASAP.

Call your elected officials now and the media. Let us demand an end to mismanagement of public money being used without oversight in a private club called MABE which is only accountable to itself. MABE has been used as a ground for soliciting “No bid” contracts against the state law. This is not fair to all the taxpayers in Maryland and around the world.

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Prince George's County

Prince George’s County