Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200
Did the North Valley Military Institute (NVMI) violate the law when it spent at least $90,000 for a perk-filled staff retreat to Las Vegas?
“Based upon our review of receipts and internal documents of NVMI’s recent leadership retreat, there is reason to believe that fraud, misappropriation of funds, or other illegal fiscal practices may have occurred that merit examination.”
– Los Angeles County of Education
The North Valley Military Institute’s (NVMI) Mark Ryan is at the point during a game of Monopoly where he just wants to land on the fully developed Boardwalk space and be put out of his misery. Unfortunately, the “Go To Jail” card is still in the deck. If he pulls it, it may be a while before Dr. Mark Ryan and the rest of his team have rid themselves of their publicly financed private school.
Ryan and the NVMI Board of Trustees have blamed a lot of factors for their $3.6 million in deficit spending during the past school year. According to the charter school, the LAUSD is primarily to blame because it refused to move a public school off of its own campus to grant NVMI all of the space it needed at one location. While increasing costs for food, transportation, insurance, and security were a universal problem during the last year, why was the school unable to accurately predict its costs for special education? Could the school have cut expenses by changing its uniform requirements? Were the costs for legal expenses a product of the school’s use of the judicial system to bully its opponents or defend itself from the result of operational deficiencies?
In a series of chaotic meetings held as the NVMI plummets towards insolvency, the trustees have villainized anyone who will not bail them out, but they have said little about their own role in the failure. As they rubberstamped Ryan’s ever-changing plans, the “Superintendent” spent education funds like a drunken sailor. Surely, the trustees’ tacit approval of…