I’m proud to introduce you to Grace Caporuscio, this week’s Sunshine Troublemaker of the Week.
Grace is a parent in the Chippewa Valley, Michigan school district.
Her efforts have resulted in a state government review of spending in the school district including a $600,000 purchase of land, gift baskets sent to employees, catered meals and other spending that isn’t going into the classroom.
School administrators say the spending is “legal”…which isn’t the same as saying it was necessary or non-wasteful, is it?
Caporuscio is a dental hygienist, a mother of three, and also runs the website Chippewa Watch, which documents:
- School spending on meals at fine dining establishments such as Andiamo, Aspen Lodge, and Mr. Paul’s Chophouse.
- $688 for a Christmas party for 50 employees at Aspen Lodge featuring barbecued ribs, cheese trays and hot rolls.
- Stadium blankets that were used as gifts for school board trustees.
- And much, much more.
In our STOTW stories we always look to see which local VIP will take on the job of publicly insulting our engaged and effective STOTWs. This time it was the less-than-gracious head of the district’s school board.
Henry Chiodini, president of the Chippewa Valley Board of Education, said “There’s been no groundswell of support for them, it’s just two people from the same family.”
Perhaps the willingness of the powerful, connected folks in this school district to try to diminish and dis-empower people who want to make a difference is the reason that, as with so many of our STOTWs, they labor out on the edge.
Caporuscio recommends that the district begin to post its checkbook register online. I agree with that recommendation.
If the school district practiced lots of affirmative disclosure, Caporuscio wouldn’t have to spend her spare time trying to discover and share with the public information about the district’s spending habits.
Kudos to you, Ms. Caporuscio.