Elgin Middle School students' fundraising cash spent on donuts, cookout for staff


The kiddies on your porch hawking Milk Duds and People magazine for school amenities, and we’re thinking pencils and paper, might actually be shilling for the school’s administration.

At least that’s the story at Elgin Middle School, near Austin, where a local television station uncovered the money going into a fund that, among other things, was spent on donuts and breakfast tacos for the principal and staffers.

The station used public records to discover a dubiously titled fund, the “MS Miscellaneous Account,” which is supplied by multiple sources, including “concession-stand revenue, campus fundraisers and from students going door-to-door,” according to the report by NBC affiliate, KXAN.

The investigation found that Middle School Principal Riza Cooper spent more than $10,000 on food for staff, including a check for “lounge supplies” that paid for charcoal, lighter fluid, and 10 pounds of hamburger and hot dogs.

The district is unrepentant - some might say even arrogant - and defended Cooper, who did not speak to KXAN. The district’s superintendent of business, Kreis Alyea, told the station that the expenditures were “fair, right legal, all those things. I was told by a lawyer many years ago, you know, fairness has no place in the legal system. If it's legal, it’s legal."

Cooper’s state teaching certificate shows that she is a math teacher who has been in the Texas system since 2000.

Contact Steve Miller at 832-303-9420 or stevemiller@texaswatchdog.org.

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Photo of doughnut by flickr user sea turtle, used via a Creative Commons license.