Advocates Concerned About Spending At PC Schools

Friday, April 14th 2017, 10:06 pm
By: News 9

There are some concerns about the use of federal education funding at a metro school district.

Putnam City Schools used part of Title One money for consulting services through a company called “Solution Tree” and some education advocates said it's a waste.

Judy Mullen-Hopper was a teacher in the Putnam City school district for 30+ years. And her commitment to education didn't just go away with retirement.

“I can still be a voice and that’s what I do down at the Capitol quite a bit,” she said.

She told News 9 she is troubled by how Title One funds are being spent in the district.

“We’re not focused now on our kids like we should be and always were before,” she added.  

The school board has voted to approve contracts with Solution Tree to provide consulting services at some schools. And according to meeting minutes, at the rate of $6,500 per day.

“It’s not just one teacher that they’re training for $6,500. It’ll be a number of teachers, so that’s a positive thing. It’s also a money-saving thing. If we were to send teachers off to the same training, it would cost a lot more and we wouldn’t get as many trained,” said Steve Lindley with Putnam City Schools.

“I see this as a waste, when the money could’ve gone to hiring reading teachers that could’ve gone in an worked with these children and actually made a difference,” Mullen-Hopper said.

Lindley said there are already 77 reading and math specialists and instructional coaches hired with title one funding in the district.

District officials said each individual school has a Title One committee of principals, teachers, and parents. And they decide how their discretionary Title One funding is spent.