Irma Golliday was elected to a second term as an East St. Louis School Board member in April of 2003. It was also during this time that the ESL School Board began to hear rumblings that State oversight would be ending for the district very soon.
So, wasting no time–two months after Irma Golliday was elected for her second term—Golliday began to do what many ESL School Board members before her had always done…use the funding for District 189 to reward relatives, friends and political operatives.
It was as if the multimillion dollar budget for the East St. Louis School District existed solely for the purpose of this School Board member to use to as a means to hand out “District 189 gift cards” to her friends, family and operatives.
In June 2003, Irma Golliday, along with board members Khalil El-Amin, Lavondia Mae Neely and Kinnis Williams, made certain that a summer jobs program would largely be dedicated to keeping board members’ families gainfully employed. Out of the 23 summer jobs in a food service program for District 189 nearly half went to school board members relatives. Elesia Golliday, granddaughter of Irma Golliday, was one of the first to be hired. That was the start.
And there is more…..
In August 2003 Golliday along with other school board members was part of a secret 3.4 million dollar-1 year contract handed out to SodexhoUSA.
The 3.4 million dollar contract was signed by Lonzo Greenwood. In fact, Greenwood was the only school board member that signed the contract. Golliday, however was part of the group of Board members who kept Greenwood’s illegal secret. AND Golliday was one of the board members who voted DOWN a food contract with another company for food services that was $171,000 less than SodexhoUSA’s bid.
And there is more……
The Illinois State Board of Education voted not once, but TWICE to reprimand Golliday for her outrageous and corrupt behavior.
And there is more……..
In June of 2006, according to an independent audit conducted by Kerber, Eck & Braeckel, District 189 ended its 2006 budget year with a DEFICIT OF 4.2 MILLION DOLLARS. This was THE FIRST DEFICIT IN TEN (10) YEARS.
Remember who was in charge for that 10 year-no-deficit-period? The State of Illinois. Remember who was in charge when the 4.2 million deficit was created? Board members: Golliday, Greenwood, El-Amin and Williams. So what happened? How did District 189 end up with a 4.2 million dollar deficit?
It’s tragic and simple—-right after oversight ended, Golliday, along with School Board members, Greenwood, El-Amin, and Williams got serious about putting the necessary framework in place to keep their family/friends/consultants/operatives employed.
How did they do it? Well, for one thing, despite declining enrollment in the East St. Louis School District, Golliday and her fellow School Board members, managed to hire more than 150 people for non-teaching positions. Forty (40) of those non-teaching positions didn’t even exist while the District was being overseen by the State.
Secondly Golliday made certain that she, along with Greenwood and El-Amin were members of the Personnel committee. What is the Personnel committee? Why this is the entity that makes all the hiring decisions for the district. They vote on what positions to create and who to hire.
So who got jobs? Well, Alvin Parks for one—he was appointed to the newly created position of “Assistant business manager” for a salary of $71,987.
Lonzo Greenwood’s wife Barbara got a 53 thousand dollar job as the newly created “Inventory Supervisor”. Music coordinator for $45,566, was filled in 2006 by James Warfield Jr., the son of former special education administrator James Warfield.
Four positions for records maintenance were created for $31,404 each, one of which was filled by recent high school graduate Nicholas Garner, the son of human resources director Princess Hayes. And two positions for a new state-funded Grow Your Own Teacher program were filled by Greenwood’s daughter, LaToya Greenwood at a salary of $55,794 and Danisha Huff, the daughter of board member George Mitchom, at a salary of $49,665. And finally 19 of the people hired with this 4.2 million dollar deficit money are from Alorton or Centreville–-Irma Golliday’s district.
Oh, before we forget. How did the students fair while board member’s family/friends/consultants got paid? In a word—-HORRIBLE.
Just look at the numbers in green for 2003 to 2007. The year after Golliday was elected to another term scores dropped an astonishing 14 points. And when you look at the entire time period the scores only went up two points in FIVE YEARS?
And sadly, there is more still…….
In 2006, the East St. Louis School Board began it heinous practices of hiring million dollar consultants and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on travel and vacation hotels.
According to the News Democrat, District 189 spent nearly $200,000 on airline tickets, vacation hotels and flower arrangements. After examining partial records (the district refused to hand over all records), from 2005-2007, the News Democrats also uncovered $10,000 spent on original artwork for the district and $35,000 in travel expenses for Superintendent Theresa Saunders.