Parents protest 'frivolous' spending; Cutter Morning Star superintendent explains
GARLAND COUNTY —
A handful of protesting parents gathered outside a school in Garland County on Thursday, speaking out against what they call "unfair spending."
As school superintendents from across the state arrived to attend a training dinner at the Cutter Morning Star Elementary and High School campus, the parents waved signs to try and catch the attention of Dr. Nancy Anderson, the district’s superintendent.
They claim Dr. Anderson is misusing the district's money by aying for overnight stays that shouldn't be covered.
"We found one spending issue was almost $4700 worth of hotel stays in Little Rock," said Courtney Post, a parent of two children in the school district.
"We're just hoping to bring any sort of light to any kind of corruption and kind of proceedings that are under the table,” said Kevin Holmes, who has a student in the 5th grade.
According to the school district's policy, travel expenses can be covered by the district if employees are working.
And expenses on overnight trips are reimbursed, if the travel is 90 miles or more one way in length.
"Here to Little Rock, the hotel is only 51 miles, so that's a violation in policy," said Holmes.
Through a freedom of information act request, Channel 7 got a look at bank records for a district credit card Anderson uses.
It shows $4,658.69 being spent at the Courtyard by Marriott in Little Rock.
"In my opinion as a tax payer, I feel like that money could be better spent for the students and the teachers,” said Post.
When we tried to go inside the multipurpose facility on campus to offer Anderson an opportunity to respond, we were blocked.
Dr. Anderson eventually came out of the training dinner and gave an explanation.
She told us that on those overnight stays here was training employees had to attend.
While Dr. Anderson didn't want to go on camera, she told me she was reaching out to her attorney.
Channel 7 has not received a statement yet.