I had been wondering where the agenda for tomorrow's Audit and Finance Committee Meeting was. Well, now I can see why it was delayed.
1) It's HUGE.
2) It's a mess. Literally. Things added links not there - very confusing.
The minutes from the last meeting note note a troubling trend - the end of funding for number of programs. To whit:
- Mr. Corrigan noted the Paul G. Allen Foundation grant for Diplomas Now at Denny and Aki Kurose has ended.
- He outlined the Federal competitive grants ending this year, including the High School Graduation Initiative Grant (HSGI) and the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF). (The HSGI funds 22 FTEs.)
- Mr. Corrigan noted that the Urban School Turnaround Initiative (USTI) will end at the end of June.
- The District will apply for other State/Federal grants such as the Deep Dive 3 Investment Fund to develop community-school partnerships, funding for which is also not guaranteed.
Then there's 20 minutes allotted to a presentation on the "Annual King County Investment Pool Update." Must be pretty important for 20 minutes in a chockful two hour meeting.
Again, there's the MOU with Africatown that continues to baffled me. Board report (another mess that no person could read and truly know what is being said) and MOU.
The latest is that the district wants the Board to authorize a settlement with Africatown over back rent/utilities. The issue seems to be that Africatown says Banda promised them a 50% break in the rent (in the form of a somewhat vague letter of support) and, for whatever reason, did not pay the rent the district thought they owed.
So the district has decided that it wouldn't be worth pursuing the money because (1) of legal costs and (2) Africatown probably doesn't have the money. What?! That's a great message to send to others who lease/rent from the district.
So the settlement would get half of what is owed ($9,299.50 owed but the district is settling for $4,724.75).
One interesting item to note - the district is now differentiating (sometimes) between students from Africa and American-born African-American youth. This is important because the district is saying the Africatown programming will close the opportunity gaps "our African American students are experiencing" without saying who they are really talking about.
The MOU is no clearer- "ACEI offers educational enhancement services to address the crisis in education for students of African descent."
If a person were reading just the Action Report, they might think these are services for African-Americans. This is not real transparency to use different language in the Action Report vs the MOU.
As well, there are two options in the MOU for the Superintendent on continuing the lease. Why would there be two different ways to do this?
I'll again state that I do not believe any other district would be going this far for a group that in the past has already proven itself untrustworthy, cost the district time and money and, now, this time around, got behind in rent and put the district in position to settle.
The district is conveying a piece of land by Arbor Heights to the City to become a sidewalk.
There also some added items about the "Pinehurst Replacement Project" but no links.
Then there are no fewer than eight items on the "Regular Agenda" including the extension of Alliance of Education MOU. This is an oddity because the district already has an extension. Why haven't they come to agreement - if any - for a new MOU with the Alliance? I think something is off here.