Thursday, July 7, 2016

Say Yes To Education-- The E-mails: Part 4

How many bomb shells can we drop in one report? You may be about to witness a record.

Like I noted in Part 3 of this series, Say Yes To Education-- The E-mails, we here at weren't the only ones looking into what was going on and wondering how Weiss and company could possibly be paying 38% returns on investments. Even the Ghost of Harriet Tubman had concerns about that and other things as did Robin Ingram who sent the following e-mail to Nora Murray of the Guilford County Schools on May 6, 2016:

"I would like to request the Guilford County Schools Vendors, Contractors and MWB database including any/all fields in the database in excel.

Ms Ingram forwarded the reply which finally came after several attempts, on June 8, 2016, not necessarily because it has anything to do with Say Yes To Education but because Ms Ingram believes the information sent to her was invalid.

What I found interesting is the following, automatically generated text attached to the end of e-mails being sent by

"This e-mail is for the sole use of the individual for whom it is intended. If you are neither the intended recipient, nor agent responsible for delivering this e-mail to the intended recipient, any disclosure, retransmission, copying, or taking action in reliance on this information is strictly prohibited. If you have received this e-mail in error, please notify the person transmitting the information immediately. All e-mail correspondence to and from this e-mail address may be subject to NC Public Records Law which result in monitoring and disclosure to third parties, including law enforcement. In compliance with federal laws, Guilford County Schools administers all educational programs, employment activities and admissions without discrimination because of race, religion, national or ethnic origin, color, age, military service, disability or gender, except where exemption is appropriate and allowed by law. Refer to the Board of Education's Discrimination Free Environment Policy AC for a complete statement. Inquiries or complaints should be directed to the Guilford County Schools Compliance Officer, 120 Franklin Boulevard, Greensboro, NC 27401; 336-370-2323"

I replied to all with the following e-mail:

"Thanks for passing this along. 65,000 monthly readers at are bound to have questions.

-Billy Jones, Candidate for Mayor of Greensboro 2017.
PS. Ms Murray. how can an e-mail be both confidential and subject to public records laws at the same time?"

I also BCC'd the message to some school board members who are well aware of public records laws as this points out the Guilford County Schools also have a problem with public information.

But what was even more interesting was this e-mail to Angie Henry, CFO,: Guilford County Schools:

"Dear Ms. Angie Henry, Chief Financial Officer:

Several months ago I submitted a Public Information Request for information from Guilford County Schools however when the attached database was forwarded to me it was incomplete.

There are several vendors/contractors that have Guilford County School staff member contact and email addresses.  

Please advise why this database has been altered and is not the actual contact information for all vendors and contractors that your department and GCS has."

I've yet to hear back from Ms Henry. That database can be seen here. Expect to read more on that after the smoke clears.

Meanwhile, in this June 13, 2016 article from Syracuse, New York, where Say Yes To Education is supposed to be doing such great things reports:

"The Syracuse City School District will receive $10,186,478, more than all other districts in the state except for NYC and Buffalo. The Syracuse district can decide how to divvy up the funds among its schools."

What's that? I wonder how much of that money they plan to use to cover their own Say Yes shortfalls?

I took a screen grab for those of you too dumb to know how to click on links but would still accuse me of lying:

And then there's this from the same article:

"To that end, schools across the state are offering health and legal services, free meals and classes for parents. The Syracuse City School District has offered these types of services through programs like Say Yes to Education, but proponents of community schools envision them as single points of access to a formalized, trackable system."

In other words, Syracuse gets to Say Yes To Education twice as much as before.

 And more recently on June 2, 2016, George Hartzman sent the following public information request to Syracuse City School District:
"From: "George Hartzman"
Date: Sat, Jul 2, 2016 at 12:39 PM -0400
Subject: Public Information Request
To: "Alicea, Jaime" <>, "Wright-Williams, Monique" <>, "Moon, Timothy" <>, "Mulvey, Linda D." <>, "Slack, Suzanne" <>, "Miller, Christopher" <>
Please provide all documents and communications to or from "" containing "Say Yes to Education" for the last three months on a computer disk or other electronic means.

Please provide Say Yes to Education financial information detailing how much Say Yes and Say Yes Syracuse has paid in scholarships from your school system.

Please provide how much total has been spent on items other than scholarships.

Please do not provide the information in printed form.


George Hartzman
Hartzman Fiduciary"

On July 6, 2016 George received the following reply from the Syracuse City School District:
"Don't call us, we'll call you."

Or something to that effect.

Stay tuned for Say Yes To Education-- The E-mails: Part 5