How Did We Get Here and Where Do We Go Now?

The following is an email I sent today to the Assistant Superintendent of Business Services and copied to the Board Members and Superintendent of Beaumont Unified School District.

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Mr. Elatar, 

Along with all the words of support I’ve received from parents and community members, more than one person has tempered their support by telling me they understand the district’s concern about releasing personnel information. I have never wanted, or requested, any personal or personnel information. My original intent was to get a list from the district of all the programs and services you wanted to protect while you consider increasing class sizes and reducing instructional time for our kids. I wanted parents to have an opportunity to provide input to the board on which programs and services parents believed we could do without in order to keep the budget cuts as far away from the classroom as possible. In the two board meetings before I made my original request, I heard almost every board member say they wanted to keep the cuts away from the classroom and a couple board members suggested a need for a public discussion. I wanted concerned parents to be prepared for the public discussion and to be heard before the board made their decisions. 

Once Board President Lara and Superintendent Kayrell made it clear I wouldn’t be getting the information I requested in time to make a difference, I asked myself why. I had followed the process listed in your board policy and administration regulation. I had scaled back my first request per the suggestion of one of the board members. Still, the district was making no effort to comply with my legal request. I couldn’t understand why you were so reluctant to provide what I believed was routine information. Information I could have put together if I had the time to review all the board meeting minutes for the last couple years. This is when I escalated my request to include the entire General Ledger to better understand why my focused request was being ignored.

The last thing I wanted was to have the district use so much of our kids’ limited resources to download pages and pages of documents and then convert them to a file format I can use. I am willing to put an end to this right now. I have a parent who has gone through the trouble of converting the General Ledger Summary file to a spreadsheet I can use. Once you provide me the chart of accounts, I will have all the General Ledger data I need for now, I may find a need to make future requests for GL data. If you just provide me with the transaction information I’ve requested for the four categories in my original request (restated in an email to you again last week), we can move on and you can focus your resources back on the business of the district. 

I look forward to your response.

Thank you, 

Lloyd White