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City auditor reports RPS is wasting millions of tax dollars

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RICHMOND, Va (WTVR) -- In a 41-page report released by the Richmond City Auditor to the Richmond School Board, there are several recommendations on ways the district can improve. The suggestions were made both in the report and during a board meeting Monday.

One such item, that may raise a few eyebrows among parents centers around the lack of record-keeping on where students are going on field trips. In some cases the details of field trips were not being documented. RPS took nearly 2,800 field trips last year and with some of the outings there was a lack of record-keeping. In fact, just the destination for the off school grounds trip served as the only documentation in some cases.

The auditor noted fewer field trips and less overtime could save the district close to $2 million.

The report also pointed out other ways, money was being wasted in the district. City Auditor Umesh Dalal informed the school board the number of textbooks being purchased exceeded the number of students enrolled. The cash-strapped district is said to have bought 4,075 more books than needed, at a price-tag of $375,481 from the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years. The report goes on to point out during the 2012-2013 school year, only 19 of the total 50 schools submitted their annual textbook inventories. Additionally, at least 21 schools did not report inventories despite their staff receiving stipends ranging from $200 to $800.

As part of a solution, new software is being implemented to allow textbooks to be entered into a system via bar codes. The target date for the new software system is slated for September 2015.


  • Bobby R.

    I have the greatest respect for Umesh Dalal . Richmond is fortunate to have his expertise and skill as an auditor. However, I must respectfully differ with his conclusion/recommendation of fewer field trips. In my opinion, field trips are a vital and essential part of a student’s learning process and the teaches them things that cannot be learned/experienced in the classroom. I believe there are ample areas in the RPS budget/expenditures that can save money without lessening the learning experiences. Best regards.//blr//

    • Milo

      I agree that field trips are educational; however, explain the educational experience when the kids go to Kings Dominion.

  • Becky

    Corruption, Collusion, Graft, Waste, Fraud and Abuse, Misuse of
    Power and Offices is an infection that permeates Richmond, Most
    Department, Agencies, Schools, etc., are transparently Dysfunctional, embroiled in scandals,debauchery, and Failures. Never remedied.
    But is all Covered, Covered Up, and considered SOP/MO of the
    Perfectly Correct-Mess Party. No charges. no responsibility, no
    accountability, no rules apply Because it IS the PC Way.
    It’s how they operate and they always need more for their Messes
    they create themselves, through their Governance.
    How does Mayor/CAO/Council hope to satiate School, Special
    Interest, and Free Sending Extravagances? Tax Increases.

  • Mr. Educator

    It’s great to hear that this information is starting to unveil (again). I just strongly encourage the public, communities, news reporters, parents, teachers and students to not let this State of Emergency fade away.

    I also must admit that the taste is just as bitter. The life of a Teacher in RPS is one that you will never begin to understand until you have placed yourself in those shoes. Not until you have experienced the live interactions and emotions of the parents, students, and school system of RPS. This brings me to what I find most offensive in this reporting. Although we should be numb to the pain, teachers are once again “Thrown Under the Bus!”. The “public voice”, the news stations, the school board, the parents, the students… all want to point the finger at the group of people who have dedicated their lives to invest in the Most Important piece of OUR future. The ones that have spent years working towards the craft of educating, so that we may use our voices to change the world, but only to be placed on mute. (Well, if you want to have security in your job.)

    Unfortunately, teachers are the pawns on the chess boards of School Systems worldwide. It’s the way that they are played, and the hand that moves them that makes the difference. RPS teachers are given orders and demands. Expected to pick up the slack for the tip of the Totem Pole to its base. I myself have inquired multiple times about the outdated textbooks that are in my room that are at the peak of reaching 10 years of age. So you’ll have to be more specific about the schools that are not in need of textbooks. I’ll give you all a secret.. Follow the money…But please stop bullying the soldiers who are in the fields day after day fighting to make a difference and build hope for those who have been brought into a world of war. Hypnotized by the pollutions of greed and anger, irresponsibility and selfishness. Stigmatized before even being identified. Used as a number for personal gain. Blind to the young man or woman who they truly are because of all the scabs and bandages that have become norms.

    Unlike some in this system, I am one of the many educators who have been called for this purpose. Not filling a spot, nor working the system. But searching through the kayos with extended arms, grasping for those looking to be saved and pulled to another level. Scholars or as previously stated… OUR future.

    I must show respect and make notice to the fact that we have had minute changes in our School Board and it will take time for more. But It’s those still sitting up high, that have watched over all of this exploded catastrophe, that need to be questioned at trial and thrown out the house. Those that are collecting Salaries and a Retirement check. Those with ill will for the current state of RPS students. And yet, many teacher (who are also Tax Payers, just in case you forgot) have to work 2 jobs to maintain living in this overpriced cost of living city.

    How about next year have a Teachers Appreciation Banquet, instead of serving us up on a platter as part of the main course.

    Please understand no anger was used to write this letter. Only love, passion, and respect. And by your allegation I felt disrespected.

    Much love and God Bless

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