Update to the M and O Line Item Controversy in Paradise Valley Schools

Thanks to all the readers and your feedback over the last 24 hours on our post about the lobbyists in Paradise Valley Unified School District. The responses we are getting reflect complete frustration towards those who we choose to govern, not to rule us. Money and power have caused most in elected office to lose their focus, and many more are taking advantage of this by working as lobbyists to line their own pockets off serious issues which affect children and families on a day-to-day basis. Lobbyists: You can’t take all that money with you. Think long and hard about what you are doing; you will have to reconcile someday.

For now, though, we have been sent some information which shows Paradise Valley is not necessarily sneaking the line item for lobbyists in the Maintenance and Operations budget. It appears to be an accounting practice. Thanks to one of our readers for the following information from the auditor handbook.

From an accounting perspective, it appears Paradise Valley is following proper procedure. This does raise some questions, however. Are other districts also spending money on lobbyists? Do other districts follow the same accounting procedures? Does any governing board have the authority to lobby for statewide legislative changes? Why is $50,000/year being spent on lobbyists rather than instruction in PVUSD? What specific criteria was used to choose the five lobbying groups? Why were five chosen? From a legal perspective, is there a conflict of interest?

Even if there are only squeaky clean answers to these questions, a school district contracting with lobbyists is not sitting right with the electorate. What may be acceptable in political circles is not in real life, day-to-day matters, especially when children’s education is involved. It is getting harder and harder to trust Big Education, and they only have themselves and their lobbyists to blame.

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