by Dr. Terry Stoops
Former Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
This week, the Office of the State Auditor released an audit of Real G.I.R.L.S., Inc., a Wake County non-profit organization that received nearly $100,000 in 21st Century Community Learning Center grants administered by the state. The executive director of the organization – presumably T. LaShon Ormond – could not account for thousands of dollars awarded to Real G.I.R.L.S. There is not a great deal of information on Ormond or Real G.I.R.L.S. on the interwebs. I did notice that the organization is a founding member of the Great Schools in Wake Coalition.
According to the report (pdf),
The Executive Director of Real G.I.R.L.S., Inc. (RGI) could not provide adequate supporting documentation to demonstrate that grant funds were properly used. Instead, she provided an assortment of invoices, register receipts, and other documents that could not be matched to any of RGI’s reimbursement requests. Additionally, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (Department) did not require supporting documentation for the reimbursement requests prior to the processing of payments.
Apparently, the executive director of the organization spent over $4,000 on custom shirts and bags. She used another $1,000 for golf instruction and golf facility rental.
In a past conversation with DPI staff, I pointed out that State Board of Education policy TCS-O-000 required the state to publish “a one-page performance assessment” of continuation and renewal contracts over $25,000. (I believe that Real G.I.R.L.S. grant would fall into this category.) She told me that DPI seldom evaluated the performance of grant recipients in any formal way.
So, which DPI employee will get fired for failing to monitor grant recipients? Nobody! This is state government, silly.