So That’s Where The Money Goes? NJ High School Pays Ashanti $20K To Visit

21 Comments
June 13, 2012 ‐ By Alissa Henry

Source: NecoleBitchie.com

Am I the only one who thinks paying Ashanti 20-thousand dollars to speak at a high school is a gross misuse of funds? Don’t get me wrong, I rocked out to every song Ashanti ever had on the radio, but that was 2003, and $20,000 is a lot of money to spend on an appearance by someone we’ve barely seen since then.

Apparently, Atlantic City Schools didn’t think so. According to The Associated Press:

“Officials paid singer Ashanti $20,000 for her June 1 appearance at Atlantic City High School.

The 2003 Grammy winner led assemblies, met privately with a group of middle school students and did an interview with the high school’s radio station. At the events, she encouraged students to stay in school, stay focused and have a network of family and friends to support them.

Money to pay the performer came from funds in a district budget account designated for the improvement of instructional services.

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum Donna Haye tells The Press of Atlantic City the school budgets for special events and officials saw the singer’s appearance as ‘a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.’ Haye said they had paid even more than $20,000 for some speakers.

Ashanti was in Atlantic City for the city’s multi-cultural festival. The city did not pay any of the performers who participated in the ‘R&B Gone But Not Forgotten’ tribute.”

So how did they come up with Ashanti of all people? They didn’t say; but, interestingly, the resolution to authorize the payment was approved by the school board and one of the members is the mayor’s wife and Ashanti’s godmother. She abstained from actually voting because of the clear conflict of interest, but she told the local press that she supported Ashanti’s appearance and was proud to have her at the school.

To the board’s credit, it seems they are at least trying to do something to better that school. Atlantic City High School was the 247th-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 322 schools statewide last year.

If Ashanti’s presence really does encourage the students to stay in school and work hard, then maybe it’s worth every penny. Still, that just seems like a lot of taxpayer money for a celebrity who’s singing for free (if at all) these days. That tight dress and those 5-inch heels she wore are also a tad suspect. Plus for that kind of change, she could have at least brought Nelly. Oh well. At least she’s making headlines again. What do you say?

Do you think spending $20K on Ashanti was the best use of the school’s “improvement of instructional services” budget?

Alissa Henry is a freelance writer living in Columbus, OH. Follow her on Twitter @AlissaInPink or check out her blog: This Cannot Be My Life

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  • http://www.facebook.com/alice.edwin.1 Dee Dia

    she should have done it for free and her outfit was totally inappropriate for the event…

  • Pingback: What?! Ashanti?… Yea that’s going to make me study. « saditycents()

  • Numero Uno

    What a waste of good money. I’m sure she didn’t tell those kids anything different than a teacher or school counselor would have told them. $20,000 is a lot of money to pay someone just to say hey kids stay in school. It’s not like she’s known for being a scholar or something. And when you’re going to a school to speak with kids, why would you wear something you would put on to go to the club???

  • Numero Uno

    What a waste of good money. I’m sure she didn’t tell those kids anything different than a teacher or school counselor would have told them. $20,000 is a lot of money to pay someone just to say hey kids stay in school. It’s not like she’s known for being a scholar or something. And when you’re going to a school to speak with kids, why would you wear something you would put on to go to the club???

  • tracey

    yall are nothing but hater………go get a life she got one make that money honey who dont stupid ppl

    • dlgreen1

      Come again ?

    • chocoliq_shooz

      YOU SHOULD HAVE LISTENED TO HER MESSAGE AND STAYED IN SCHOOL OR NEED TO GO BACK, CAUS E WHAT YOU WROTE DON’T MAKE SENSE. IT’S NOT HATING IT’S FACT…SHE’S NOT WORTH 20 G’S, BUT I GUESS YOU RIGHT, SHE NEEDS TO MAKE MONEY ANYWAY SHE CAN CAUSE HER RECORDS IS DEFINIETLY NOT FOOTING HER BILLS NO MORE.
      I GUESS NO JA’RULE , NO ASHANTI…WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JAI4SRENU2A5WKRTELXXYJPDSI Kayla

    they only had ashanti because a relevant star would have cost wayyyyyy more money.

  • http://www.facebook.com/barbara.codner Barbara Codner

    “Plus for that kind of change, she could have at least brought Nelly.” #BOOM

  • http://www.rishona.net/ Shona

    Ashanti though? Do HS students even know who she is (when’s the last time she had a hit song)?

    • missmeme

      HS students? Does ANYBODY know who Ashanti is? That’s the real question! She should be paying them for the publicity.

      And when she showed up in that outfit, they should have turned her around at the door and demanded a refund!!!

  • Rayven

    First of why is she dressed like a tramp to got talk to school children? And, she is hardly worth $25k, she is a D-lister, no talent, she should have volunteered to speak to the children, nobody else is hiring her…but then maybe thats why she charges so much,…her hey days are overrrrr

  • Ay

    Ashanti has to get it how she can these days lol don’t knock her hustle

  • poetsgroove

    That money should have stayed with the school, for repairs, new computers, healthier food. The list could go on, but to each it’s own I guess. What could she have said that was that inspiring? Please. Kids: Please look up to people in your community as role model’s.

    • poetsgroove

      Another thing, these are high school kids, half of them probably didn’t know who Ashanti was 10 years ago.

  • TraceFace

    She should have done it for free, and offered the $20,000 for scholarship money for college. Since it was ranked as the 247th school in New Jersey, it would have been an incentive for students to look forward to.

    • NiceNasty

      I totally agree!!

  • tiffany247

    couldn’t they have gotten someone who actually finished college? They could have gotten a different person that would have done it for less money. It is not like she is known for graduating from an Ivy league school or anything. The message she was sending has been said a million times before.

  • The Truth

    Seriously? At a time where public schools are struggling you pay $20K for Ashanti? That money could have went to afterschool programs, or an increase in teacher salary. smh @ Atlantic City… I knew that place was run by some crazies but damn. smh

  • Charla

    I agree with the author. No one is checking for Ashanti at this point in her career. That money could have been spent on services to help the students that are a high risk of dropping out. I really doubt a student that is struggling and considering to leave school is going to change their mind because of her appearance at the school.

  • bluekissess

    So her cliche message cost her $20,000? The same message that a principal, preacher, teacher and parents can give.. that was a rip off