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School chief responds to state allegations

June 6, 2012

Photo by Ted Lutz – Dr. Maryann Anderson, superintendent of the Kane Area School District, has responded to a critical state report on the use of gift cards while she was head of special education at the Millcreek Township School District near Erie. She invites community residents to meet with her to hear her side of the story.

Unfavorably cited in a report by the state Auditor General, Kane School Superintendent Dr. Maryann Anderson is ready and willing to give her side of the story.
According to the “findings” in the report issued last month by state Auditor General Jack Wagner:
The “former supervisor of special services” for the Millcreek Township School District near Erie “diverted $91,873 from the district’s special education program by purchasing gift cards with special education funds and using the gift cards for non-program purposes.”
Although she’s not named in the report and has never been charged with any wrong-doing, Anderson is the “former supervisor of special services” cited in the findings of the Auditor General’s Office of Special Investigations (OGI).
The state report points out “the results of this investigation have been presented to the appropriate state and federal law enforcement agencies for their review and whatever further action deemed appropriate.”
Anderson admits that the use of gift cards to motivate students and staff was a “common practice” for several years in the Millcreek Township School District.
“It was widespread,” Anderson said.
She said other administrators in the school district also used gift cards as incentives and wonders why she was singled out in the report from the Auditor General (AG).
“The AG report makes it appear as if I was the only administrator who used gift cards purchased with special education and/or general fund monies,” Anderson said in a recent letter to Wagner.
She is especially upset that the AG report alleges that she “diverted” special education ACCESS money to buy gift cards.
“What I respectfully contest is the intimation in the AG report that I ‘diverted’ any special education funding of ACCESS monies for gift cards,” she said in her letter to Wagner.
“As supervisor, I had no direct control over special education funds.
“My role was to propose the expenditure of special education funds, reasonably expecting the (Millcreek) business office to approve or deny the same.

see full article by purchasing the June 7 edition of The Kane Republican.

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