Are We Being Ripped Off?

As of July 1, 2012, PWCS had almost $760 million in bonds outstanding.  To date I have never seen anything that accounts for what those bonds are used for.  I’ve been trying to track the bonds PWCS has “issued” in the past two years, and I can’t find about $20 million.  I have no clue what the bond money was used for, and on one I’ve asked does either.

I hope you find that as shocking as I do.

I’ve been harping about the need to account for the bonds PWCS “issues” for some time.  Because of timing issues, PWCS will frequently pull bonds before the cost of projects is known. This past February PWCS pulled $67 million in bonds, of which $28 million was for the elementary school in Haymarket.  The bid for that school was about $19 million, so PWCS pulled roughly $9 million more in bonds than were needed.

With the exception of the K – 8 and the addition at Potomac High School, bids received for virtually every new construction project or addition undertaken in the school division in the past few years have been well below the bonds pulled for those projects.  Over the past couple of years PWCS has “issued” bonds for various projects totaling almost $137 million.  The bids received for those projects totaled about $117 million.  That leaves about $20 million unaccounted for.

Several school board members have asked where the extra goes, and they’ve been told that it goes for other projects.  Like what?  PWCS hasn’t reduced the amount of bonds it pulls to reflect this excess and renewals are paid for with proffer money or annual tax receipts.

Where is the $20 million?


4 Responses to “Are We Being Ripped Off?”

  1. Ed Says:

    I thought we had an auditor overseeing this stuff?

  2. Our Schools Says:

    We don’t Ed. Kim you can explain this better than me.

    Don’t be so sure the bonds for Patriot were not pulled in amounts higher than the actual cost. We have asked for proof of the actual cost over and over again, we are ever answered. Look at the construction bid and other cost, in our opinion they do not add up.

  3. pwceducationreform Says:

    The auditor makes sure the financial statements are as accurate as possible – so expenses are expenses and are not understated. As long as the amount of bonds issued are being properly reported, debt service expenses aren’t understated, and there aren’t any concerns about PWCS’s ability to continue to exist, the auditors will be satisfied. Determining whether the debt is being used wisely or not isn’t something they’ll examine.

  4. Are We Being Ripped Off? | PWC Education Reform Blog | cika Says:

    […] Are We Being Ripped Off? | PWC Education Reform Blog: […]

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