Contact 13 Investigates
You Paid for It: Viewers sound off about trashed school furniture
Blowing the whistle on waste. That's what school district insiders did in last week's Contact 13 "You Paid for It" investigation. Video by ktnv.comvideo
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) - Blowing the whistle on waste. That's what school district insiders did in last week's Contact 13 "You Paid for It" investigation.
Tonight, our viewers are sounding off about whether school furniture in dumpsters are your tax dollars in the trash.
"I saw desks, tables, bookshelves," said CCSD employee Elena Rodriguez.
Furniture you paid for that was at Clark County schools, but ended up in dumpsters outside the district's purchasing warehouse.
"I am sure that that can be used by many other schools."
Elena Rodriguez and seven other current and former district employees told Contact 13 that CCSD is violating its own policy by tossing this stuff instead of giving it to other schools, other Nevada school districts, selling it to the public, or donating it to area non-profits.
"Where is the paper trail that shows that each one of these items went through that four-step process that is the District's process for dealing with furniture?" Contact 13 Chief Investigator Darcy Spears asked CCSD CFO Jeff Weiler.
"Well, I don't know that we really have a paper trail for every piece of equipment but we have staff that that's what they do," Weiler answered. "And we have no reason to dispose of things that are usable. We have plenty of need out there. And so the issue again is primarily safety. We don't want students or teachers or anyone using furniture that's unsafe."
Several of our viewers support the district's explanation of what's in the dumpsters.
Rick writes: "Looks to me like they're getting rid of dangerous, broken equipment so that the children can have a safe learning environment."
Chrystal adds: "How long do you guys honestly think school furniture lasts? If the items are unsafe and broken, I would not want my kids sitting, leaning, cutting themselves on it... If, on the other hand, the items were salvageable, then, sure, good looking out" channel 13.
We received more than a hundred comments from our viewers and many of you are concerned about the ballot question in the upcoming election where the district wants to raise property taxes so they can fix up run down schools.
Lisa writes: "Clark County General Election Question No. 2 wants... to pay for more wasteful spending, and it's not even directed at education."
Others wrote to us recalling past "You Paid for It" investigations.
Robert wrote: "First iPads for administrators, and now this? What's next?"
Nick says: "Don't forget about all the textbooks that Clark County School District bought and stored away in boxes for years to never be used."
And getting back to the furniture, Herb writes: "I'm sure there's a use for this furniture somewhere. Put an ad online. Someone will show up for it."
Over the last two years, the school district spent $1.4 million on new furniture. And a half million more on used furniture re-purposed through the warehouse.
You can check out the chart they gave us, which is posted along with our original story.
And we're always looking to expose taxpayer waste, so don't forget to send us your suggestions for future "You Paid for It" segments. You can email us at email@example.com.