Oley resident questions school district's finances

Oley School Board members received another earful at their April 10 meeting when local resident Cindy Smith took her chance during the public comment period to state that she is at a loss for words.

On March 13, Smith had questions for the board regarding large checks which appeared to be improperly signed by members of the school’s administration.

More recently, Smith has requested several Right-to-Know requests regarding checks dating from 1988 to 2007.

“These are extremely disturbing issues. There are checks that were written to pay bills from district and some have no amounts. I was curious to know, what are these?”


Superintendent Tracy Shank stated that, to her understanding, cross checking was done and the paperwork was submitted through the proper channels.

Smith stated that there were checks written out to various restaurants, Weis Markets and a resort.

“We seem to only have a meeting unless we eat. Is that the definition of supplies? Food?” said Smith, concerned about where exactly the money of taxpayers is going. “This is a fair amount of money.”

Shank stated that food is coded as supplies for Family Consumer Sciences classes and when administrative meetings are held during dinner hours.

“This is all money that adds up. Taxpayers are being put out of their homes. We buy cakes for new teachers—do you do that for the kids? It is disappointing to see the stewards of our tax money,” said Smith. “We’re losing teachers. Food being assigned to curriculum is just wrong. This money adds up. I think you as the board need to call for a forensic audit of this school board.”

Smith has also requested a Right-to-Know request for petty cash reimbursements and will continue to research into the District’s finances.

In other news, the board approved Shelley Chapman as Director of Business and Support Services, effective Thursday, April 11. The board also approved nine other transfers, including the transfer of David Daniels from High School Alternative Education Teacher to his former position as High School General Science Teacher effective April 11.

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Rebecca Blanchard

Rebecca won't hesitate to tell you that she has enjoyed writing throughout her entire life. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, she graduated from the professional writing program of Kutztown University in 2012. Rebecca joined Berks-Mont Newspapers in July of 2012 as editor of The Boyertown Area Times following her internship with the newspaper. In addition to writing, she enjoys traveling and cooking gluten-free foods. Reach the author at rblanchard@berksmontnews.com or follow Rebecca on Twitter: @boyertowntimes.