My eldest attended his dad's alma mater, a private school. We absorbed costs of special clothing, textbooks and tuition with our very low combined incomes. Sometimes dad drove only him, but for the bulk of seven years we were involved in carpools.
Now there is a fund for families whose children learn through alternative means. Having had $400,000 put aside the first year to help with the costs of field trips, texts, uniforms and whatever else was bad enough. Then more money was appropriated for the same purposes.
Thanks to citizen requests for information, we have learned that most of the reimbursements were for mileage. That rate was determined arbitrarily. Also, the only requirement for proof of mileage was the existence of a google map.
Most of us who work usually receive a mileage reimbursement at a rate determined by the government. To receive that money, we have to submit a mileage form which includes the odometer settings for the round trip. Employees keep personal records to back up their claims if questioned.
It is beyond belief that a commissioner who purports himself to be fiscally conservative and economically responsible should have had this idea in the first place. It is beyond belief that this process was designated to administration outside of the government. It staggers the imagination that most of the requests have been for the round trips and not, as the commissioner originally stated, "to provide more robust opportunities" by reimbursing field trips, etc.
The fault lies with our commissioners, not with the nonprofit administrator into whose lap this boondoggle was placed.
Does anyone remember that parents did not approach the commissioners with scenarios of financial hardship?
So $800,000 has mainly gone to mileage, with some to administrative costs and a tiny fraction to the educational extras.
Local elections are coming soon. Although not as exciting as presidential ones, these touch us much more directly.
I, for one, cannot wait.
Deidre V. Krasnansky
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