Superintendent Burke's former school district reflects on his past
Monroe County on Burke Past Video by fox4now.comvideo
LEE COUNTY - Dr. Joseph Burke facing accusations from board member Jane Kuckel. She is questioning the transfer of grant money and sick time plus raises he gave to a former collegue he brought to the district.
"Is it your feeling Dr. Burke put your county into financial hardship,?" asked Fox 4 Reporter John Rupolo.
"Yes," said John Dick, Monroe County School District Superintendant.
The Monroe County School board chairman John Dick says Burke's departure left him in a bind. Burke served as the Superintendant there for just about two years before coming here.
"How would you describe him as a Superintendant," asked Fox 4 Reporter John Rupolo.
"I would say he acted like an educational beaurocrat," said Dick.
Dick says Burke finalized an expensive 3 year contract with teachers in the Monroe School District that included raises. Dick says the timing was all wrong.
"We were looking at reduced funding still and he said don't worry we'll get the money. Of course, Dr. Burke is gone he's in Lee County and we didn't get the money," said Dick.
That contract, according to Dick, eventually led to teacher furloughs and added to a ten million dollar school budget deficit. Dick also says Burke enrolled the District in some very expensive school programs.
"That's something we really shouldn't have been going into and we have stopped it," said Dick.
We contacted Burke to get his side of the story he said, "Monroe County School District had a series of financial difficulties and the allegation I contributed to this is not true," said Burke.
We also spoke with the current Monroe County School superintendant Dr. Jesus Jafa who replaced Burke.
"He's someone Iooked up to and still to this day as a Superintendant and a school leader I think he's a phenomenal leader," said Jafa.
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