Beginning in February of this year, I spent several months trying to get an accounting of the business transactions for the entire 2011-2012 school year. Originally I wanted parents to be aware of what programs and services the administration valued over the teachers and classified staff they were about to layoff. I met resistance from the administration and I was getting no real support from any of the board members. After realizing the resistance I was up against, I started wondering what the administration was hiding.
Several months later - after starting a petition; being chastised by board members for not following procedures; being told I was required to fill out a form from the website that previously didn't exist; hearing from the County District Attorney's office that I would have to file a civil suit; and being asked to pay $500 to get a portion of the information I requested; I gave up. This is when I decided to run for the school board. I realized I would never be able to get to the truth unless I was on the "inside".
Earlier this week I reported that the board was considering two administrative positions in closed session, Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent of Business Services. I speculated their discussions had to be about Dr. Kayrell's replacement. When the board came out of their closed session and had nothing to report, I became curious and began to ask around.
I heard from a reliable source that there have been questions raised about transactions and reporting of these transactions by the Business Services department and this was why the agenda item for their special meeting included the Assistant Superintendent. I heard there might be concerns over issues with the general fund and Measure Z funds.
If what I heard is true, it sheds new light for me as to why the administration was so reluctant to honor my request for public records. If it is true, I expect our school board to provide full disclosure to the community for any action taken in this matter. There may be personnel issues withheld from the public but we are entitled to know the full extent of any questions regarding the accounting practices of our school district's administrators. I wonder if one of our school board members had supported my efforts for accountablilty, where would we be now?
We need to know how and when were the superintendent and the board made aware of the issues they are considering? Are there any questions concerning the use of Measure Z funds in the district's new $12.5 million district headquarters? Will we get to the bottom about what is really happening in our school district? I doubt we will get many answers before the election.
I promise you, if I am elected, I will bring leadership to the school board and demand accountability from our administrators. I will guarantee to support any individual's request for public information. If a parent is demanding accountability our elected officials are failing to provide, they need support - not obstacles. I will demand change in our district's culture and demand real transparency.