Monday, November 14, 2011


Sources: FBI joins criminal investigation into abuse allegations against Elizabeth school board

ELIZABETH — A criminal investigation into allegations of abuses within the Elizabeth Board of Education has been joined by federal prosecutors, according to two school district employees, who say they were questioned by the FBI.

The two, who filed a lawsuit two weeks ago to halt an internal investigation into leaks of confidential school board records, would not disclose specifically what was discussed, but said they were both asked about a wide range of matters involving the board. The state-supported school district has been the focus of allegations of spending abuses, secret settlements and the pressuring of teachers to make campaign contributions in exchange for jobs.

The investigations come in the wake of a series of stories in The Star-Ledger detailing the school lunch program abuses, as well as allegations that jobs and promotions in Elizabeth were tied to the amount of money employees contribute to school board candidates and others running for political office.
How does Elizabeth Board of Ed deal with this? By hiring a security firm at taxpayer expense to discover &  expose the two whistle-blowers who exposed the [alleged] criminal waste of taxpayer money. Meanwhile, the BoE keeps cranking out slick self-congratulatory brochures, mailed to every city address, manipulating statistics so confusingly that they actually claimed Elizabeth's test scores are somehow  comparable to Millburn, a town of 20,000 with a median household income of $130,848. Even reading the fine print I couldn't figure out how they arrived at that incredible assertion  or  exactly which test scores they were using.

I appreciate the Star-Ledger's investigation & reports, but with a school system as large as Elizabeth's, no doubt with dozens of disgruntled employees, the newspaper is coming up short of Pulitzer Prize.

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