I was shocked when I learned Rhondalyn Cornett resigned as president of the Indianapolis Education Association that serves teachers in Indianapolis Public Schools. According to Indy Star:
The president of the Indianapolis Education Association has resigned amid allegations that she mismanaged more than $100,000.
Rhondalyn Cornett is accused of financial mismanagement and misappropriation of members’ dues over several years as IEA president. An IEA member filed a complaint with the state organization, the Indiana State Teachers Association, about IEA operations. The state office immediately opened an investigation, according to a news release, that included a review of its election procedures and a comprehensive financial audit. That was completed Nov. 8.
On election day, I was happy to hear that IPS’ multi-million dollar referendum passed. As a former IPS employee, I was glad voters supported extra funds going to the district despite concerns some have voiced about the direction the district is going. Unfortunately, it seems that every time IPS has good press, a few days later, a negative story appears.
A few months after I accepted a literacy coach job in IPS, I was cutting through the teacher’s lounge and there sat Rhondalyn Cornett. She greeted me and said she was glad I was in the district. People in the teacher’s lounge wanted to know how I knew her since I was new to the district. She told them she had known me since I was a little kid because we went to the same church.
I know Rhondalyn Cornett as Sis. Cornett. She was a fierce advocate of education at the small church I used to attend on the south side of Indy. She was part of the scholarship fund committee that helped support youth who were going off to college. To see her name in the press in a negative light is disappointing. She was one of my go-to people when I worked in IPS. I wouldn’t even ask my building union representative a question; I would just call Sis. Cornett.
I left IPS at the end of last school year. I have spoken to a few former colleagues from IPS and all they could express was shock and disappointment. So far, Cornett has not given a statement about these allegations. I think she should. The teachers she swore to support and protect deserve at least an explanation.