On Wednesday we told you about the teacher in Trenton ISD who lost her job due to accusations of tampering with STAAR testing. But there was a second basis for the termination—failure to account for student activity funds.
When I read this part of the case it brought back memories of my service (one year) as coordinator of the Girl Scout Cookie sales for the troop. This assignment brought me face to face with my inadequacies as an accountant. I think I did not steal any money….but I am sure that my record keeping fell into the “needs improvement” category. It’s altogether possible that a box or two of Thin Mints slipped through the cracks. I’m grateful that the statute of limitations is long past. I have some sympathy for teachers who have to also handle activity funds.
But let this case stand as a warning: failure to handle those funds can get you fired. The Commissioner laid out it clearly:
Petitioner’s record keeping was very poor. Petitioner did not keep records of how much money was raised and did not keep all receipts to show how the money was spent. Petitioner did not properly use the purchase order system to pay bills. Petitioner failed to properly account for student funds.
That alone is a sufficient basis for teacher termination. That’s what happened in Burk v. Trenton ISD, decided by the Commissioner on December 20, 2019. It’s Docket No. 018-R2-11-2019.
DAWG BONE: GOOD TEACHERS WHO ARE POOR ACCOUNTANTS WOULD BE WISE TO AVOID RESPONSIBILITY FOR ACTIVITY FUNDS.
See you next week, Readers!