Rooted in Reason: Nurturing the Seeds of Liberty

Stealing from the Keiki? by grassroothawaii
January 21, 2011, 1:46 pm
Filed under: Education | Tags: , ,

by Frances Nuar

I find it dishonesty of any kind appalling, but stealing from the keiki has got to be one of the worst things someone can do. Our public education in Hawaii is already far below par.  According to the College and Career Readiness Indicators report from Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education “more than a third of Hawaii public school graduates who enrolled in the University of Hawaii system following graduation last year needed remedial instruction in math or English.

So imagine my shock/disappointent/horror to find out some of the very individuals (formerly) employed by our public school system had been stealing from the Department of Education and the schools they work at– stealing from our keiki!

One woman was arrested for stealing $69,000 from the school by cashing checks written to herself.

The Star-Advertiser also reports:

“Last month, a Pearl City school secretary was sentenced to 450 hours of community service and required to write a letter of apology for stealing more than $13,000 from Lehua Elementary.

Janel Echiberi, 35, pleaded guilty to forgery and theft for using the school’s Sam’s Club credit card from 2004 to 2008 to buy tires, a king-size bed, a high-definition TV, a digital camera, clothing, food and alcohol.”

How did the Department of Education not catch any of this fraud? When should alcohol ever be purchased with a school’s credit card funded by taxpayer dollars? This abuse had been occurring since 2004–that’s years of zero accountability.

We wonder why our schools are under-performing.  Here’s a hint: when we have no idea of fraud and abuse because schools are held accountable to no one, it is the keiki who will suffer.


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