Reports: Broward Schools Sat On $100 Million Earmarked For School Safety

 

BY BUDDY NEVINS

 

Roughly $100 million that voters approved for school safety four years ago remains unspent, according to an investigation by a 19-year-old student. 

No, the Sun-Sentinel’s investigative team didn’t discover this.

Neither did the School Board. Its members are elected to wisely spend tax money. Apparently they are more interested in seeing nothing, keeping their mouths shut and being reelected.

It was a 19-year old home-schooled high school senior who says he uncovered an uncomfortable truth — the failure to spend just under $100 million already approved for school safety.

When his findings couldn’t gain traction in Broward, he went to the national media.

But is it true? 

Here is a very telling part of the story: 

Superintendent Robert Runcie tried his best to squelch the report. If it was just a false narrative, why would Runcie and 10 of his subordinates spend their time trying to explain it away?

 

Robert Runcie: Coverup?

 

The story begins with a curious Broward resident — Kenneth Preston.

After the shootings at Marjory Stone Douglas High School, Preston became interested in school safety. He poured through public documents and interviewed officials about Broward’s track record on the issue. 

“According to Preston, Runcie and the school board sat on most of the money granted by tax payers to keep schools safe, including Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. On February 14, 2018, former student Nikolas Cruz entered Stoneman Douglas and went on a shooting spree, killing 17 people and injuring another 17,” the conservative DML website reported this week.  

“In his report, Preston points out that the board was given roughly $104,000,000 in public grants to secure the schools in 2014, but that as of 2018 only a small portion of the money had been spent. The total amount used to date is roughly $5,000,000.  Thus, leaving nearly $100 million unused,” DML continued.

The report was legitimate enough to be picked up by Sunshine State News, a website widely read by state muckety mucks and based in Tallahassee.

Preston wanted to tell the community about his findings.

Runcie and the School Board had other ideas. 

After signing up to speak to the School Board, Preston was suddenly asked to meet with Runcie prior to the School Board meeting. 

Preston claims he was denied permission to bring a lawyer or record the meeting with Runcie 

Yet “Runcie showed up to the meeting with 10 school district representatives, making it an ambush-style meeting that lasted two-hours” in an attempt to squash the report, reports DML.

Browardbeat.com asks again:

Why 10 “school district representatives” and Runcie spend two hours trying to refute a 19-year-old’s report if it had no validity? 

Preston spoke to the Board this week, but said he was forbidden from having others who agreed with him speak.

“The Board and superintendent who insist on a commitment to transparency have denied the voice of survivors and victims,” Preston said. 

For Preston, the public schools system’s coverup and lack of honesty is a new experience.  For any parent or journalist, its an old story. 

The money for school safety was part of the $800 million bonds approved by voters in 2014. The promise from Runcie was that the schools would be renovated and made safe. 

Many schools are still waiting for needed repairs.  Now Preston charges that the safety money is unspent, too. 

Preston’s report is linked here. 

And below are Preston’s comments to the School Board this week. Broward voters need to see this and ask why these allegations are not getting more attention from the other media and the School Board

Broward voters need to know the truth, not spin, Mr. Runcie:

 

 



12 Responses to “Reports: Broward Schools Sat On $100 Million Earmarked For School Safety”

  1. Sickened but not Surprised says:

    The School Facilities Task Force that was led by Nathalie Lynch-Walsh (don’t know if she is still chair) was railing about the debacle of the $800 million in bond money, the failures of the District to have an updated and appropriate needs assessment, the failure to get vendors to start working on projects, delays and delays and delays — at every meeting for years….

    But nobody cared…

    Would using those funds have prevented the massacre at Douglas — don’t know — maybe if there was a controlled entry point on the day in question a teenager without an ID walking in to school at a time near when others would be walking out would have been stopped and questioned. I can only speculate.

    But this is just another in a serious of deadly failures by this School District — AND NOBODY WANTS TO DO A DAMNED THING ABOUT IT.

    Most SB members will be reelected, Runcie got his raise and extension, and the GIGO continues.

  2. tom James says:

    Runcie and Broward board members will be gone when Scott’s FDLE report comes out. They are guilty of creating the whole Cruz massacre not only by withholding school safety funding but mostly with corrupt and racist Obama polices like promise and bip. Trump and USDOE officials will be pulling the plug on those programs and cutting federal funding to Broward schools.

  3. Kevin Tynan says:

    I met the young man on MOnday night and was impressed.

    I would also agree that stonewalling by the Schoolboard in not a new issue. I remember all the way back to Till the games that were played to try and hide the true nature of violence in the schools.

  4. NW Broward MODC says:

    Crickets following my November 10, 2016 1:23 post under Broward Politics: Winners and Losers- specifically about the lack of school safety in the City of PARKLAND. Evidently it wasn’t only the disabled children in BSO District 17 and SBBC District 4 who were “at risk”.

  5. Tell the truth says:

    Fire Runcie.
    Fire Israel.
    Do not retain any current SBBC electeds.

  6. Do your homework says:

    He should have cited more credible “experts” and witnesses in his report. Most of those cited have ulterior motives or agendas against the school board which damages the credibility of his report.
    Many cited are barely credible to tell you what day of the week it is.

  7. tired teacher says:

    I encourage readers to find a clip of Runcie after the shooting in which he at first thought the Douglas massacre was a false alarm because hoaxes happen all the time or words to that effect. What? This young man is on the right track with regards to the diversion programs. I would encourage him to get in touch with students who have been to PROMISE to learn more about what that experience is like. Keep it up, Broward Beat since the Sentinel isn’t doing their job – let’s not forget that the Sentinel recommended voters approve the bond issue.

  8. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    @6: specifically which experts do you deem not credible, have ulterior motives,or agendas against the Board? Which are barely credible? Classic system defense

  9. Give Joy Cooper and Co. Credit says:

    It takes a lot to make the London crew look ethical and honest.

  10. RuncieIsTeflon says:

    Runcie’s policy of non-reporting crime are firmly at the root of MSD. NOBODY cares. They want to use it as a pulpit for gun control. Runcie will come out of this with his bag of money along with the rest of his supporters… and don’t dare say anything about Runcie or you’ll be marked a racist.

    Runcie is a disgrace.

  11. BlastFromThePast says:

    Oh Karnak, where have you gone…

  12. PandaBear says:

    Tell the truth (#5) has it SOOOOOOOO right! It’s about time! Kudos to Preston.
    He ought to keep digging for more!

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