Knox County Schools “slush fund” records. Or PPU report

We have received a few vague records of the Knox County Schools PPU fund, which Jeff Ownby called a slush fund. Here it is: KCS records. More later, including a story.

We asked for Physical Plant Upgrade files last week, and haven’t gotten them yet. As Jeff Ownby noted in the meeting today, he only received his files (the files above) after we printed a story from the audit committee meeting.

Couple thoughts about the record that was produced:

It’s obviously a spreadsheet-type file that’s been made into a PDF. That does a couple things – makes it impossible to manipulate – to add columns and rows in a basic spreadsheet maneuver – and keeps it in a partially illegible form (Ownby commented on this in today’s meeting).

It also creates a situation where we would have to ask for it in the original form, which a lot of people fail to do when requesting public records. That said, these government organizations tend to use proprietary software for some file keeping and database information, which makes them hard to translate to say, Excel or Access. It’s inside baseball reporter-ranty stuff, but these are just some raw thoughts.

Also, it appears that there was some effort made in producing the records – whether the effort was intended to obfuscate or just simply done-because-it’s-always-done-this way is for anyone to guess.


About Gerald

A journalist in Knoxville, TN. Work (mostly) inside and play (mostly) outside. I'm a part of the X or the Y generation. None of us claim the other.
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