Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Stopping School Corruption

The following piece appeared at the Yankee Insititute.org. CRAFT suggests all tax fighters and concerned parents obtain the manual in the piece outlined below and read Armand Fusco's book School Corruption: Betrayal of Children and the Public Trust.

Stopping School Corruption
by Armand Fusco

Hartford, May 17, 2006 -- In a new manual for Nutmeg State taxpayers, the Yankee Institute for Public Policy outlines strategies to combat corruption in Connecticut’s school districts.

"Stopping School Corruption: A Manual for Taxpayers," by Armand Fusco, Ed.D., is designed to assist Connecticut taxpayers who are seeking responsible answers from districts about whether school resources are being protected from abuse.

Fusco's manual lists ten questions school boards should be asked to determine whether school corruption is being committed. Topics covered by the questions include asset management, credit cards, student-activity funds, state/federal grants, contracting, and personnel policies.

"This manual will be a powerful tool for citizen-activists all over Connecticut," said Yankee Institute Executive Director Lewis Andrews, Ph.D. "'Stopping School Corruption' is the latest step in the Yankee Institute's mission to supply helpful tools to the leaders of taxpayer groups, who are fighting important battles at the local level."

Fusco, the former superintendent of the Branford School District, is also the author of School Corruption: Betrayal of Children and the Public Trust. The book, published last year, documented hundreds of examples of corruption in government schools throughout the nation.

"We must realize," Fusco said, "that Connecticut is no stranger to corruption in its school districts -- no state is. This problem can only be addressed responsibly and effectively by alerting the public and by generating outside pressure and public discussion. That's what the Yankee Institute is committed to doing."

Dr. Fusco holds a master's degree from Columbia University and a doctorate from the University of Massachusetts. Since retiring from his superintendent post in 1992, he has authored many professional works, as well as a regular column, "Inside Education," which is published by several Connecticut shoreline newspapers.

"With 10 simple questions," Andrews said, "Dr. Fusco empowers citizens with the ability to discern if their school districts are really being run in the best interest of the community."

Yankee Institute Philip Gressel Fellow for Tax and Budget Policy D. Dowd Muska believes the release of Fusco's manual is timely, given the municipal-budget fights that are currently being waged across the state: "Adjusted for inflation, Connecticut more than doubled its spending on government schools between 1981 and 2001 -- despite a very small increase in student enrollment. It is entirely appropriate for taxpayers to demand greater transparency and better management of school districts."

The Yankee Institute is a think tank that creates new ideas for lower taxes and better government in Connecticut. As a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, donations to the Institute are tax-deductible. It is based on the campus of Trinity College in Hartford.

Dr. Fusco is available for print, radio, and television interviews. Contact Mary Crean at (860) 521-6164 or mary@yankeeinstitute.org.

The Yankee Institute
for Public Policy Studies
© 2006

No comments: