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Verletta White questioned; majority of County Council members support independent audit

Baltimore County Public Schools Interim Superintendent Verletta White went to a meeting in Annapolis on Friday to discuss the scope of BCPS audits in light of the indictment this week of her predecessor, Dallas Dance.

White has already ordered an audit of contracts, but some lawmakers want the audit to review additional years and review additional types of contracts.

Dance was indicted for allegedly earning nearly $150,000 in consulting fees but failing to disclose those payments in sworn statements. The indictment says he also helped one of the companies get a no-bid contract from BCPS. A Baltimore Sun investigation found that White also had failed to disclose some outside income, though she has not been charged with any crimes.

White said Friday she is open to a wider audit if the Board of Education will agree to it. So far, fewer than half the board members have indicated they want an expanded audit. But she also said she welcomes a legislative audit.

“Once we have consensus from our overall board, not one or two, but our overall board, on what’s needed, then we can move forward,” she told lawmakers on Friday.

The Baltimore County delegation of the General Assembly could vote on the issue next week.

Four members of the seven-member Baltimore County Council — Vicki Almond, Cathy Bevins, Todd Crandell, and David Marks — have said they support an independent audit of BCPS. Councilman Wade Kach has been ill and unavailable for comment. Council members Tom Quirk and Julian Jones did not respond to requests for comment.

Update: Kach said he favors an independent audit of BCPS contracts, and an independent study of STAT — the BCPS plan that gives laptops to all students in K-12. 

Additional coverage:

Baltimore County’s interim schools chief: ‘There is nothing to hide’ (Daily Record)

Baltimore County senators want a more extensive audit of school system (Baltimore Sun)

Baltimore Co. State Lawmakers Question Schools Chief Verletta White (WJZ)

White seeks to restore trust in Baltimore County schools after Dance indictment (WBAL)

Baltimore County Public Schools interim superintendent questioned about financial statements (ABC2)

-Kris Henry,
The Towson Flyer

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