Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Sheffield Schools Just Did What? Do You Know Where Your Money Goes?

From a Sheffield reader: Sheffield Utilities customers received a little something extra in their most recent statements. Steve Hargrove enclosed a note that offered his utilities customers the opportunity to make a donation to the Sheffield Education Foundation by tacking a specified amount on to their monthly payments to the utility department. Hargrove is on the Sheffield board of education as well as the general manager of Sheffield Utilities. Decide for yourself if that seems a little shady.

I do know that the Sheffield Education Foundation is desperate for money. Foundation president Ronnie Wicks (also a city councilman) recently informed Sheffield teachers that the foundation no longer had enough money to fund the mini-grants that have annually been awarded to teachers. The foundation may be in financial trouble, but the board of education recently gave Keith Lankford his second $5,000 raise, and Deputy Superintendent Carlos Nelson recently purchased a custom-made desk for approximately $6,000. This is very reasonable for the only school system in the Shoals where 100% of the students receive free lunches. (A huge percentage received free/reduced lunches, so the federal government granted free lunches to all students in 2016.)

One more financial tidbit - For several years, many of Sheffield's churches have come together on a designated Sunday night in November for a joint Thanksgiving celebration. The offering at this service (often adding up to several thousand dollars) had always gone to fund the various church programs that feed the homeless and hungry within the city of Sheffield. Last year, Keith Lankford talked the pastors of the churches into giving the money to Sheffield City Schools. It went to fund the STIC program (Students Tutored in Churches). This is a program where members from various churches VOLUNTEER to help elementary kids with homework. I don't know if plans are in place to hijack the offering again this year or not. Maybe there's nothing shady here. Maybe there is. I think it stinks... 



Tomorrow we'll have a discussion of a cruel and heinous crime...well, at least a misdemeanor most people don't seem to understand. 

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