A new audit coming out of New York City has Mayor Bill de Blasio in hot water. It looks like the Department of Education had a little bit of trouble adding up their expenses last year. Instead of spending tax dollars on vitally-needed resources for students, someone was blowing through the cash. Now, more than a few residents are demanding answers after the learned how the money was spent.
New York City is a pretty expensive place to live. Trust me, I know. I lived in New York for most of my life. Residents have to put up with rising rents, high costs of basic necessities (from groceries to utilities), and massive taxes. New Yorkers have to pay federal tax, state tax, and even a few unique local taxes, all for the privilege of living in the city.
Most of them put up with it because they assume their leaders are using the money for a good purpose. That’s especially true of the millions of New York families, whose children rely on the city’s Department of Education to teach them.
But a new audit has come out condemning the city. Turns out, millions of dollars were wasted by the Dept of Ed employees. They ignored regulations to spend cash on lavish trips. The mayor has a lot to answer for.
A scathing audit of out-of-control travel expenses at the Department of Education has a message for school officials: Just do the math.
According to Controller Scott Stringer, the city school system botched more than $20 million in runaway travel expenses, including unnecessary payouts to lavish hotels for meetings that could have easily been held on school sites.
Stringer’s bombshell tally of 2017 travel vouchers filed by Education Department employees found sloppy staffers failed to follow regulations for 93% of travel expenses, potentially costing taxpayers millions in bogus spending.
Among the problems Stringer found in his deep dive into a representative sample of roughly $1 million in travel expenses that occurred under the watch of Mayor de Blasio:
$14,023 in blatant overpayments, including $11,913 to the glitzy New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge
$233,167 for meetings in hotels and other venues with no effort, as required by the rules, to find free or low-cost space in city school buildings — including $12,883 for a staff retreat at the posh Tarrytown House Estate on the Hudson
$269,684 in purchases that lacked required written bids including a $17,847 catering bill
$14,956 in credit card charges with no supporting documentation, including $2,821 in charges at the lavish Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville [Source: New York Daily News]
Ouch! This is pretty bad. I don’t want to blame liberals for this kind of runaway waste… but it’s all liberals’ fault.
This is what happens when you give control of a city to Democrats. They trumpet on and on that big government is necessary to meet the needs of a growing population. But when they are given near-unlimited control of a city and billions in tax dollars, they waste it.
A city with smaller government and lower taxes wouldn’t be able to abuse the system like this. They couldn’t. They wouldn’t have the cash to do so. But because New York City is run by a corrupt group of liberals, they can virtually write themselves checks to do whatever they want.
Keep in mind, New York City is one of the most overly litigious cities in the country. There are rules and regulations that dictate everything. A lack of oversight didn’t lead to this abuse. This is what happens when the government has too much power and money. Period.
All the rules in the world wouldn’t have stopped this. Limited, conservative government would have.
This is particularly disgusting when you realize it was the Department of Education burning through millions. All those dollars should have gone to improve schools, pay staff, and provide an excellent education for children.
Instead, these staffers blew through over $20 million dollars to party in hotels across the country.
If that doesn’t make you mad, I don’t know what will.
Stringer said the city’s $32 billion public school system must institute tighter controls on travel expenses for Education Department staffers.
“When it comes to our schools, every single dollar counts. We can’t afford to waste dollars that should go to our kids and classrooms,” Stringer said.
“The Department of Education’s failure to follow its own policy and keep close track of spending shows a disregard for taxpayers and ends up costing our students,” he added…
Teachers and advocates said the wasteful spending was shameful in a public school system where educators routinely resort to online fundraisers for basic classroom supplies such as books, chairs and tables. [Source: New York Daily News]
Every New Yorker must demand answers from the mayor. De Blasio let this happen, while he was campaigning for his buddies. The city blew through cash that should have been used to teach their children.
But what about the rest of the country? How many more big, liberal cities are burning through cash that should go to education? Probably more than we’re willing to admit.