By the end of the 2003-04 school year, the Wilmer-Hutchins school district in suburban Dallas was broke, reports the Dallas Morning News. This year, students are being bused into Dallas for classes, and the FBI is investigating where the district’s money went. A newly released state audit gives a few clues.
A $270,000 federal grant that was supposed to pay for reading and math instruction for the district’s weakest students was used to pay for a baritone horn from a pawnshop, a pizza crisper, cookie-dough scoops, a $7,700 set of murals and a Queen Anne loveseat for the principal’s office. Money from that fund also bought a $1,155 custom-made mat for the school’s entry, $958 worth of furniture for the teacher’s lounge and a $2,029 keyboard. Special-ed funds were used to pay an electrician and to buy a software package the district didn’t have any computers capable of running.