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Education Funds Paying Gwinnett Chamber Salaries Instead of Educating Students

Join in the effort to get the Gwinnett County school board to explain why paying salaries for Gwinnett Chamber employees benefits students.

A coalition of government watchdog groups has been attempting since February to learn why Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) has been paying the salaries of two Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce employees beginning in 2007. GCPS issued a statement in July saying the investment in the Gwinnett Chamber pays off, and in return for funding the salaries, GCPS had received $6 million which goes directly into the classrooms. They have offered no proof to support that statement, but say they plan to continue to fund these positions at the chamber.

GCPS said that there are no minutes of any school board meeting where this was discussed, no vote was ever taken, and there is no line item in the budget to account for it. We received an email saying that Superintendent Wilbanks had the authority to approve these payments without a vote of the school board. When asked where this could be found in the budget, GCPS’s CFO responded with this explanation:

Reporting department - Financial Services (300002-9990) on page 648.
Page 648, item 3000002-9990:
FY2012 FY2013 FY2013
Financial Services actual proposed Supt. Recommended
(3000002-9990-NA) $258,771 $245,687 $245,687
Description: Banking fees and services for central office and local schools (includes investment advisor)

We have asked an auditor in the Financial Review Division of the Georgia Department of Education to investigate these payments to determine if they were proper. 

Please join Gwinnett Citizens for Responsible Government, Citizens for a Better Gwinnett, Georgia Taxpayers Alliance, CHARGE and the Founding Fathers Tea Party at the Gwinnett County Public Schools board meeting this Thursday. Gwinnett County taxpayers and school children deserve an explanation of why education funds are being used to pay chamber salaries. 

You can sign a petition asking elected officials to account for the millions of taxpayer dollars given to the Gwinnett Chamber at:

www.GwinnettPetition.com

Thursday, August 16th

6:00 pm

Gwinnett County Public Schools Administration Building

Old Peachtree Rd NW

Suwanee, GA 30024-2978.

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R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew August 30, 2012 at 02:43 AM
Yeah, I guess I missed out on my "unmasking" and hot towel too... Its just "good lovin' gone bad, bad, bad ..."
Sabrina Smith August 30, 2012 at 02:52 AM
Hi R: I know Chairman Nash told a reporter that she planned to resume payments to Partnership Gwinnett, but I did not know it had been placed on the agenda for a vote. Do you have a link with details?
Sabrina Smith August 30, 2012 at 02:56 AM
...and, no, I don’t have any more information today than I had 6 months ago to explain the $800 million in economic activity, the 280 businesses brought to Gwinnett by the chamber, and the companies that hired the 12,000 employees.
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew August 30, 2012 at 04:15 AM
I'll dig for it - was over on the Gwinnett Daily Post ... When I find it, will do as asked.
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew August 30, 2012 at 05:32 AM
By Camie Young (3254) camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com Thursday, August 16, 2012 http://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/news/2012/aug/16/group-questions-school-board-funding-to-chamber/ Two weeks ago, Gwinnett Chairwoman Charlotte Nash said the county intends to continue its $500,000 contribution to the partnership, although leaders have agreed to create a separate Partnership Gwinnett entity to segregate the funds from the Chamber's other functions. Only mention I could pull up at this point team...

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