July 24, 2007

Omaha Public Schools - always on the ball

Who is watching the coop?
The taxpayer supported Omaha Public School retirement fund has been writing checks to a retired teacher that died almost 20 years ago. She was Winifred Brinker, and taught for 17 years at OPS, retiring in 1980. The $120,000 in payments made since her death in 1988 were electronically deposited to an American National Bank account.

Compound interest should have fattened that amount to a tidy sum by now. Unless, of course, it isn't there. The bank needed a court order to open up the account; I don't know the results yet. OPS spokeswoman Luanne Nelson said they were still "in the discovery process." Read: "We don't have a clue."

The Omaha World Herald had the details here, last time I looked. Unless they have changed their ways, the OWH will try to make you pay to read it after a few days. If you are in Omaha, you aren't supposed to read about Winifred here: Not For Online Use In Omaha Market. Any wonder why newspapers are going broke?

I gather that the stewards of OPS' retirement money just wait to be informed that a payee is deceased. Maybe they read the obituaries, maybe they don't. Winifred Brinker's obit appeared in the OWH:
Brinker's obituary advertisement ran in The World-Herald on May 19, 1988. And her death certificate was filed with Douglas County vital statistics the day after her death. OPS officials had no answers as to why they weren't aware, or made aware, of Brinker's death.
The same OPS is the steward of our children's' educations. Private schools ought to get our tax money. These bureaucrats posing as educators have no incentive to do anything right. No incentive to teach to a standard, no incentive to provide guidance and leadership, and no incentive to keep an eye on the bottom line. The taxpayers are their constant cash cow and the kids are their victims.

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