Eyebrow-Raising MoCo Title IX Data

Let’s start with common sense: high school football and basketball are big deals in Kentucky. They’re probably the only sports, save a bit of baseball, anyone pays attention to. It probably comes as no surprise to anyone that those two main sports have booster clubs/organizations raising $20,000+ per year in many school districts.

In light of various spending scandals that we’ve uncovered involving Montgomery County Schools — specifically Title IX investigations and discrimination lawsuits — we’ve kept an eye on the flow of cash in the school district.

On May 11, 2015 we uncovered a massive Title IX reporting/spending scandal involving Phil Rison and others within Montgomery County Schools. Rison and his then-boss, fired superintendent Joshua Powell, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on an athletics facility without approval. They also deliberately withheld information from required Title IX reporting and also appear to have misled or intentionally lied to colleagues about spending reporting requirements.

Yesterday, on June 1, 2015, we revealed that Rison and the district still have not properly reported expenditures and activity on Title IX reports with the Kentucky High School Athletics Association.

But that’s not where the fun ends.

Here’s the latest data from the district:


CLICK TO ENLARGE — PDF

Montgomery County’s most recent KHSAA/Title IX reporting for the 2014-2015 school year, documented in the PDF above, include a surprising development. In the previous years during Powell’s tenure, boosters in the county have reportedly never spent more than $1,950 on athletics facilities. During the 2014-2015 year, however, boosters have all the sudden raised and spent more than $300,000 on facilities. The increase is so drastic that both former and current coaches, school board members, teachers and students have expressed concern to us.

Let’s take a look at the numbers as reported:

BOOSTER SPENDING TOTALS BY YEAR

  • 2010-2011 — $49,255
  • 2011-2012 — $93,348
  • 2012-2013 — $103,270
  • 2013-2014 — $84,410
  • 2014-2015 — $342,757

BOOSTER SPENDING BY CATEGORY

EQUIPMENT

  • 2010-2011 — $46,755
  • 2011-2012 — $52,868
  • 2012-2013 — $50,097
  • 2013-2014 — $77,910
  • 2014-2015 — $29,107

TRAVEL

  • 2010-2011 — $0
  • 2011-2012 — $29,882
  • 2012-2013 — $37,281
  • 2013-2014 — $6,500
  • 2014-2015 — $1,600

AWARDS

  • 2010-2011 — $0
  • 2011-2012 — $9,672
  • 2012-2013 — $10,200
  • 2013-2014 — $0
  • 2014-2015 — $0

FACILITIES

  • 2010-2011 — $0
  • 2011-2012 — $1,950
  • 2012-2013 — $0
  • 2013-2014 — $0
  • 2014-2015 — $312,050

PUBLICITY

  • 2010-2011 — $2,500
  • 2011-2012 — $3,976
  • 2012-2013 — $5,692
  • 2013-2014 — $0
  • 2014-2015 — $0

Now let’s examine the latest booster spending on facilities:

2014-2015 FACILITIES — BOOSTER SPENDING BREAKDOWN

  • Archery — $9,036
  • Baseball — $23,841
  • Boys Basketball — $32,280
  • Girls Basketball — $28,540
  • Boys Bowling — $9,892
  • Girls Bowling — $9,892
  • Boys Cross Country —$9,094
  • Girls Cross Country — $9,094
  • Fast Pitch Softball — $24,668
  • Football — $32,706
  • Boys Golf — $9,398
  • Girls Golf — $8,498
  • Boys Soccer — $15,774
  • Girls Soccer — $16,874
  • Boys Swimming — $6,643
  • Girls Swimming — $6,643
  • Boys Tennis — $7,698
  • Girls Tennis — $7,698
  • Boys Track — $11,345
  • Girls Track — $11,345
  • Volleyball — $15,649
  • Wrestling — $14,536

Surprising amounts of cash in any circumstance.

Boosters dropping nearly $20,000 on bowling when students practice and play at the local bowling alley? What on earth?

We’ve attempted to get answers from district officials but everyone from Phil Rison to the high school principal have chosen to avoid providing comment or explanation. Not answering the most basic questions regarding spending raises red flags galore.

Dozens of open records requests have been filed and those are pending.

What’s going on here? Are Rison and the district inflating girls expenditures paid by boosters to make their per-student costs similar to boys? Are they covering up the baseball field renovation by spreading those costs around? Are they making these claims because booster spending is easier to hide and manipulate when only a couple people control all of the cash and all of the reporting?

To go from raising and spending $0 booster dollars on facilities the year prior to $312,050… well…

Something stinks. And that’s why we’re running this story prior to obtaining records. Because someone out there knows something and the usual suspects in Montgomery County are going out of their way to avoid any level of transparency.

If you know something, SPILL IT!

Contact Jake at this address:

We keep sources confidential.