Kyle Olson
As a part of EAGnews’ continuing school spending series, we revealed that the Richmond, Virginia school district spent a whopping $448,997 on hotels and $135,761 on a California-based travel agency in 2010-11.

The title of the series is “Where Your School Dollars Go…” and the educrats running the show in Richmond can’t seem to come up with a straight answer for that question. Maybe that’s why government schools never seem to have enough money.

CBS 6 reporter Sandra Jones broke the exclusive story Friday. At that time, district spokesperson Felicia Cosby told CBS 6:

“The information reported by EAG is not accurate. The organization requested a check registry which lists payments to vendors including pass-thru activities from state-operated and other programs…for which we are the fiscal agent, including the Math, Science and Innovation Center and the Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School. Therefore, the list does not correlate to the district’s spending activity.”

But five days later, Richmond Times-Dispatch reported:

“Cosby said school system finance officials were working to match payments to accounts but that the process ‘would be time consuming.’ She did not have a timeframe for when that process would be complete.”

She also said our report lacked “context.” In what context is it appropriate for a school district – or any public entity, for that matter - to spend over $600,000 on expensive hotels and resorts?

After paying $198 dollars to obtain the initial spending information, we sought answers on our own for the questionable spending. But the school district wanted to charge us another $62 for explanations regarding the spending we uncovered. So we let the dollar figures speak for themselves and left school officials to deal with the local media.

School board member Kim B. Gray raised an excellent point when she was asked about the spending and said she was amazed it would take any time at all for officials to track the reasons for the expenditures.

"In the computer and information age, it should already be there. Congress has a search engine for every travel expense. If Congress can do it, with billions of dollars at stake, the school division certainly can," she told the Times-Dispatch.

Kyle Olson

Kyle is founder of Education Action Group and EAGnews.org, a news service dedicated to education reform and school spending research, reporting, analysis and commentary.

He is co-author of Glenn Beck’s “Conform: Exposing the Truth About Common Core and Public Education,” available at Amazon.com.

Kyle is a contributor to Townhall.com.

He has made appearances on the Fox News Channel, The Blaze, Fox Business Network, NPR and MSNBC. Kyle has given scores of interviews on talk radio programs coast to coast.

Kyle likes talking about his family, as well as his favorite music. Bob Dylan, Mark Knopfler, Neil Young and Johnny Cash are at the top of the list. He has attended 25 Bob Dylan shows.

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