Yesterday New York City, Today City Of Richmond

No sooner did we write about the absolute fraud that is "investing" in government-run schools in New York City as an example of your hard-earned tax dollars propping up inefficient and ineffective, anti-reform educrats and unions, then we get an example of it in our own backyard: The Richmond Times-Dispatch yesterday reported that an internal audit of the Richmond City Public Schools  revealed hundreds of thousands of wasted dollars on unnecessary staff and overpayments to said employees. Great. Not only do we not need them, we're paying them more than they are worth even if we did need them!

Here are some of the highlights:

» Overpayment to 19 employees totaling more than $50,000 — and can't detect them!

» Employees taking time off but the system not registering it, thus allowing for yet more paid vacation than allowed.

» The payroll department, where much of the incompetence stems, has two more employees than needed, according to the school district's own auditor.

This is on top of a previous internal audit that determined a contract went to an undeserving bidder (and eventually canceled) and city administration audits of the school district that repeatedly turn up abusive use of taxpayer money.

So, again, when politicians talk about the need to "invest" in government-run education, ask them to address the negative return you've been getting for decades not only in money wasted but in educational achievement (please see this commentary). Then ask them about competition, alternatives, choice, and reforms before we are forced to "invest" any more in a money-losing scheme.