This is a good idea, at least in concept. Stuff has been accumulating in Title 15 for literally a hundred years, and it is a mess. I do not see the point of an annual committee however. One thorough cleanup should be sufficient.
1) The $400,000 estimate of the cost of an internal auditor (see previous article) is absurd. The independent MGT audit six years ago estimated a cost of about $100,000 annually. The high number seems to be partly based on the assumption that the auditor would need personal support staff. It has indeed been TUSD's habit to inflate administrative costs by loading administrators with support staff whether needed or not, but that is not what I or anyone else is proposing for this position. The MGT audit also pointed out that "The cost of an internal auditor is usually more than offset by savings generated through improved efficiencies and improving operations."
The district has magically found money for, and the board has approved, buckets of other new spending in recent weeks, including $750,000 over five years to train teachers at ONE school in project-based learning (after TUSD has paid other consultants to do exactly the same thing).
2) The proposed strike-all amendment to S.B. 1120 does not threaten to reduce desegregation spending until fiscal year 2016-17, which begins 15 months from now. That seems to be adequate time to conduct the audit and review required by the amendment.
3) As a previous commenter observed, Hicks and all other members of the board report to the public, not to the superintendent.
4) Do you contact Mr. Hicks for response, for example about whether he is changing his name, before mocking him in print?
No one (that I heard) ever claimed that the MAS program was inciting revolution. In particular, the state never claimed that the program violated that provision of the statute.
You could also mention that Mach leads Clodfelter by only 500 votes in LD10 -- though the remaining votes are unlikely to produce a switch that large.
See and Tell the TRUTH ...: I have admitted errors. You have not. That makes my point.
Jim (for this seems to be a signed piece -- thanks for that), I am going to wade here into treacherous waters to respond to your comment: "You [Cuevas] and Stegeman, when you were leaders of the board, did such a poor job bringing the district and community together during a highly contentious time." I readily admit that I made some mistakes during the MAS period, some of which I've long since acknowledged and some that might come later, whenever the book on that episode is written. I recently listened to the tapes of a couple of the worst meetings and it was -- painful. But there is another side that is left out of most popular accounts, including yours. I did many things and published several opeds and went to many meetings with various stakeholders and put together a carefully crafted (though scorned by many) proposal to achieve some sort of compromise on that issue. (I give John Pedicone credit for mostly similar motivations and actions, though we had some disagreements and he made his own somewhat different set of mistakes.) One reason that this all failed is that the strongest MAS advocates, who drove much of what happened, were unwilling to consider any compromise on what they clearly considered to be a matter of principle. It is not my place to judge anyone, but refusal to budge even an inch is, to use your language, not a position likely to bring the district and community together. After May 2011 I had done everything I knew to do and stood aside (except for a subpoena I had to answer) as the train hit the wall. But up to that point I had tried hard to create some kind of viable middle ground.
One way that electing Hicks and Campos-Fleenor would help me (as TW puts it) is that we could finally establish an internal auditor position that reports to the board, as many external experts have recommended for years. Recent events surely confirm that need, as district leadership still seems determined to underplay the size of the current operating deficit. (Incidentally, Putnam-Hidalgo and Cotton have also supported creating such an internal auditor, repeatedly and unambiguously.)
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