Texas Education

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TEA Investigates Charter School Expenses

Posted by Texas Education on July 23, 2008

A little hanky panky going on at a charter school in San Antonino, eh?

Your kids may not go to a charter school, but your tax dollars do. Now the News 4 Trouble Shooters have uncovered San Antonio’s largest charter school is under investigation. School’s out for summer but there’s still work going on at the School of Excellence. The Texas Education Agency confirms its auditors are examining school records after it received complaints that the superintendent is using school funds for his own personal use.

This super sounds extremely shady:

It’s how money is being spent here that has state auditors looking at credit card purchases and cell phone charges made by Superintendent Ricky Hooker, who makes $150,000 a year. The News 4 Trouble Shooters have also obtained those same records. We quickly discovered the superintendent has not turned in receipts for many of the charges on the school credit card. If I haven’t turned in receipts, it’s because I misplaced them, I’ve lost them. Those receipts are pretty nominal amounts. Almost every one of them has a story,” said Hooker. That’s the problem, they shouldn’t have stories. The state requires receipts showing the expenses were for school business.

and,

We questioned another $411 in plane tickets. Hooker told us he purchased the tickets so he and his wife could visit family in North Carolina last summer. The News 4 Trouble Shooters have confirmed auditors are also checking charges to see if Hooker has been using school funds for an outside business he is involved in called ACN, which is a Multilevel Marketing company that sells phone services. For example, he has bought more than $1,000 in books and other materials from get-rich-quick gurus that frequently speak at ACN events. They include topics on wealth-building and how to run a home business. Some of the products were even shipped to Hooker’s house. He claims they’re used at the School of Excellence, where they specialize in helping disadvantaged kids who he apparently thinks will one day get in trouble with the law. “I have a passion for entrepreneurship. No doubt in my mind.

Here for the full story.

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