It seems one Nashville charter school is in need of new teachers and hopes to recruit them at an event with free beer.
Here’s a portion of the invite to an event hosted by Valor Collegiate Academies:
Come meet key members of Valor’s network and school-based teams, and enjoy a beer on us while learning about career opportunities at Valor! We have several openings on both our middle and founding high school teams in Fall 2018, which you can check out here!
The event is being held at Black Abbey Brewing Company on March 28th.
As an MNPS-authorized charter school, Valor receives taxpayer funds in the way of BEP (school funding formula) dollars based on the number of students who attend.
Is is explicitly against the law to use taxpayer funds to provide free alcohol at a teacher recruitment event? Not exactly. But, it is problematic.
First, imagine the principal of any other MNPS school hosting a recruitment event and using school funds to buy free beer for guests? What would happen if the principals at JT Moore or Hillsboro High tried this?
Second, while recruiting teachers is certainly important, that can be done without using taxpayer funds to buy alcohol.
Third, the state’s Achievement School District faced some trouble in the past when they held a teacher recruitment event and offered free alcoholic drinks.
In fact, a recent Comptroller’s audit of the Achievement School District noted:
In addition, “in recognition of ASD school leaders and support staff, management purchased $1,631 of alcohol using a purchasing card and charged the expense to Charter School Grant Funding, a private grant that provides restricted funding for operating expenses for school year 2015-16 Achievement Schools … .”
That purchase came up in the discussion among lawmakers Wednesday, with Rep. Harold Love of Nashville saying he was “alarmed and disappointed.”
“We advise all offices to never buy alcohol with taxpayer funds,” Mumpower said.
As a former state employee, I recall that on state-funded travel, we were always advised not to purchase alcohol with state funds and meal reimbursements were not to include alcohol.
Perhaps Valor will suggest they raised private funds to pay for the party and so should not be subject to scrutiny. Again, imagine the principal at your child’s school telling you they’d raised private funds to help the school and instead of using them for resources for the students or training for teachers, they were using those funds to buy beer to lure people into jobs there.
In any case, on March 28th at Black Abbey Brewing, there’s free beer courtesy of Valor Collegiate. Drink up!
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