Reports of massive overspending at Mesa Public Schools
MESA, Ariz. - Days after the Superintendent of Mesa Public Schools was put on administrative leave, questions remain over why Dr. Ember Conley was removed from her position in the first place.
The state's largest school district still hasn't provided any answers. but FOX 10 is getting a clearer picture of the massive amount of overspending by the district.
Courtney and Nathan Faerber pulled their daughter, Ruby, out of Hermosa Vista Elementary School six weeks ago. Ruby needed surgery, but her parents didn’t want her back at school afterwards.
The reason? Staffing issues.
"They had one teacher and one aid to eight medically complex kids, and it wasn’t safe for ruby to be there," said Courtney.
The Faerbers say they're frustrated with Mesa Public Schools, because they don’t feel Ruby’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) is being fulfilled. Now, their frustrations are boiling over because of district spending.
In the past school year, Mesa Public Schools has gone over budget on administrative costs by almost $800,000. A $400,000 executive team bonus was approved in June, something that’s been standard with the district for a few years.
The Faerbers are wondering why there’s seemingly no money for their daughter.
"It seems like the school is always struggling to take care of the needs of the kids, asking for additional funds, and the district, who should be supporting the teachers and students, it doesn’t seem like they’re connected with that," said Nathan.
Conley was put on paid administrative leave for unknown reasons. Coupled with the budget spending questions, some teachers feel like they’re in the dark as well.
"With the reported mishandling of money or overspending, we’re just hoping the district can give us some answers," said Joshua Buckley, President of the Mesa Education Association. "We just want to know if that’s the case, if general administration funding has gone up, what did that funding go to? What’s the reason where it’s at?”
All of this played out while a campaign was going on to get a $54 million budget override approved. The district said they’d be in a $30 million hole without it.
The Faebers voted for it, but they now wish they hadn’t
"Now looking back, I think did they really spell out what the budget was for? I don’t know that they did," said Courtney.