Stimulus funds pay for movies, trip to water park

Our tax dollars hard at work.

The Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, found that some of the stimulus money given to North Carolina schools was spent on movie tickets and a water park trip – “a potentially unallowable use of these funds,” the GAO said in a recent report.

The GAO also found that two North Carolina school districts failed to obtain multiple bids or price quotes for Recovery Act procurements as required for purchases exceeding $5,000.

The GAO said Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools gave $38,400 of Recovery Act (stimulus) funds to the Housing Authority of Winston-Salem in 2009 for a summer enrichment program for students. According to the school superintendent, the school district’s money was to be spent only on teachers’ salaries.

But the GAO found that in addition to paying a total of $17,270 in teacher salaries, stimulus funds given to the Housing Authority also paid for field-trip-related expenses, including tickets for movies, a water park, fast food, and other entertainment.

“For example,” says the report, “activities for students included a trip to the movie theatre to see movies entitled Ice Age (for K-5 graders) and Terminator (6-12 graders) for a total of $405.50 and a trip to a water park, Wet and Wild Emerald Point, for $961.23 (including food and locker rentals).” . . .



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