The public Atlantic City High School in New Jersey paid 2003 Grammy Award winner Ashanti $20,000 in taxpayer funds to appear at the school, despite the school's atrocious test scores that show it is failing its students. Government bureaucrats defended the waste:

“She was paid like any other vendor,” said Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum Donna Haye, who will take over as superintendent....

Incredibly, it occurred to no one to use that money to educate students, a MAJORITY of whom are failing at math.

In 2010, just 48% of 11th grade students at the public school met the grade-level math standard, and just 65% met the Literacy standard, far below the Garden State average and even farther below the state "goals" for math and reading.

But why try to educate children when you can hang with a star?

Of course, no government story would be complete without inside dealing. Ashanti's godmother is the Mayor's wife and is on the school board! But she abstained from the vote to line her goddaughter's pockets with other people's money.

Public school assemblies are a common scam to promote left-wing causes and direct money to favored groups and people, often with ties to the decision-makers. Some of that is inevitable, even at the best schools. But in a failing school that refuses to educate its students, it is unconscionable.

The next time someone tells you schools are strapped for cash, send them this story.

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