Saturday, August 29, 2020

Dean Dennis: Forensic Audit Update 8/29/20

From Dean Dennis

August 29, 2020

Good news to report. Robin Rayfield, ORTA's Executive Director has approached the ORTA Board regarding supporting the forensic audit of STRS Ohio. Not only is ORTA going to support the forensic audit, they have agreed to set up a bank account for the forensic audit donations.
We are hoping to be able to collect donations in the near future, perhaps a week or two. There are legal logistics currently being explored such as applying for tax exemptions, exploring consequences if the account isn't set up properly, and addressing what happens to the monies collected, if for some reason the forensic account gets stalled short of the needed $75,000 (let's not let that be a problem). ORTA also has to set up vehicles to collect the donations so we can donate both by check and electronically.
Lastly and importantly, STRS retirees, unlike active teachers, do not have a union. I think our Forum has the most involved teachers, but we do not have the structure of a union. I believe OTRA has the structure we need for political action. As an ORTA member, have spoken with Robin Rayfield at length about ORTA setting up a political action arm of ORTA, because ORTA does get involved with Ohio's legislators.
In the past years, I wasn't impressed with ORTA, as am I in recent years. ORTA is becoming more politically active, more vocal and certainly is present at all the STRS monthly meetings. It was for this reason I joined ORTA a few years ago.
When ORTA gets their bank account set up to accept our donations, Robin Rayfield and I discussed helping ORTA increase their membership by offering a discounted rate to join ORTA the first year. I'm told told this is going to happen. If you see the value in ORTA moving towards the political structure I think we need, please consider joining ORTA when they activate the bank account to receive our donations towards the forensic audit. As always, I'll keep everyone posted.
Larry KehresMount Union Collge
Division III
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