Board of Education Leaders Issue Statement on Use of Credit Cards by Board Members

June 2, 2014

A statement from Board of Education President Phil Kauffman and Vice President Patricia O'Neill:

The Board of Education takes very seriously its responsibility to oversee Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) in an ethical and fiscally responsible manner. The Board works diligently to ensure that the taxpayer resources provided to the school system are used in a manner that promotes high-quality educational opportunities for our students.

Board of Education members are issued credit cards to cover certain expenses they incur while conducting official Board business. Recent public interest in the usage of credit cards by Board members has emphasized the necessity to review our processes and procedures to ensure that these cards are being used in an appropriate manner.

An ad-hoc committee composed of the Board officers and Board Member Michael Durso, chair of our Fiscal Management Committee, was formed in April. The committee has been charged with reviewing the Board’s processes and guidelines regarding reimbursable expenses.  The committee will make recommendations to the full Board for adoption and implementation. The committee’s work will also include a review of the Board’s expenses for the last two years in order to inform its forward-looking recommendations, as well as a review of the appropriateness of these expenditures under our policies.

The committee has requested, and all Board members have agreed, to suspend usage of their MCPS-issued credit cards while the committee conducts its work.

We are aware that MCPS has received a number of public requests for documents related to the usage of credit cards. Staff is diligently locating and reviewing the responsive documents and will produce the relevant materials.

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