Oh, So THAT'S What It's For (But Still A Bit of a Mystery)
I finally, after much back and forth with district staff, received an answer about the $127,000 in the budget for the Superintendent's office. The answer came from Dr. Goodloe-Johnson herself.
(And let me just say, I had to ask, over and over for this information. I asked Don Kennedy and had cc'ed Sherry Carr who also asked Mr. Kennedy and he never answered. The district's public disclosure officer, Joy Stevens in Legal who couldn't be nicer, gave me answers that never really answered the question but did give me some food for thought. I had called the State Attorney General's office for advice about what to do when you don't get information requested via Public Disclosure and now I have a few more things I can try in the future. I did let the district know I had called them.)
Here's her answer:
Thank you very much for your questions. I apologize that our initial response to you was in error. Carol Rava Treat's position is NOT funded from the $127,000 that you asked about. My responses are listed below.
What is the $127,000 being used for?
Two uses: half of the salary for Cordell Carter, who is a Broad Resident; and the full salary for Venetia Harmon, who is a Senior Administrative Assistant. Ms. Harmon's job description was sent to you previously, the job description for Mr. Carter is attached.
Why is the Broad Foundation paying for Ms. Treat's salary?
Ms. Treat was brought to Seattle Public Schools to coordinate work related to developing and implementing a strategic plan, including building relationships with philanthropic organizations and to secure funding for key strategic plan projects. Her position has been grant funded. Yes, we asked Broad to fund her salary as part of managing continued implementation of key work of the strategic plan.
Who is the Broad resident referenced in two places in the budget?
We have two Broad residents at SPS, Cordell Carter and Jessica de Barros.
Are there any new hires under the Superintendent's office for this budget?
Lastly, I find that when I ask, via Public Disclosure, for information that staff either do not answer completely, give me information that has nothing to do with my question or, worst of all, do not answer all my questions. Where is the transparency we have been promised and that is referenced at the bottom of every single sheet of district paper "everyone accountable"?
Seattle Public Schools is committed to providing accurate and complete data in response to requests for public information. Because we work in a very complex environment, it is sometimes necessary to pull information from various departments and sources to fulfill each public disclosure request. Our public records officers work diligently to respond as quickly and as completely as possible. There are times when we may partially fulfill a request in order to get information sent in a timely manner and then follow up with the rest of the information at a later time. Public records requests are coordinated and managed by Ms. Joy Stevens in our legal office, firstname.lastname@example.org. If you experience challenges with public records requests, please write to John Cerqui, Sr. Assistant General Counsel, at email@example.com or Gary Ikeda, General Counsel, firstname.lastname@example.org with specific information about your concern. We will work to more completely and accurately respond to public disclosures in a way that feels more transparent to our public.
Thank you (end of message)
Okay so I got the answer to my question except for one little problem. Here's what the Broad Foundation's website says about salary for a Broad Resident:
$85,000 - $95,000 annual salary
"At the conclusion of the two-year program, The Broad Residency expects that school districts and CMOs will hire Residents permanently in their current positions or promote them into more senior leadership posts.
"So, let's do the math. Take $127,000 and subtract the salary of Venetia Harmon (adm assistant) at $64,015.27 (that includes benefits). What's left over ? (You smarties wait for the other people who use calculators.) Yes, it's $69,984.83. That would be for Mr. Cordell's salary. But we remember what it says at the Foundation's website that he would be making between $85,000-95,000 annually. So the conclusion we draw is that either Mr. Cordell has been making more money all along or guess what? he got a raise. Because (now grab that calculator again) if you multiply $69,984.83 times 2 (the Superintendent said they were paying half) you get...$125,969.66. Now even if you were not including benefits in a salary of $85,00-95,000 there is NO way to get up to $125,969.66.
So we hired a Broad resident and gave him a raise (heads up to Jessica de Barrios the other Broad Resident) after one year.
The same year we closed schools - because of money - and RIFed many teachers - because of money - but we could rearrange funding so that a Broad Resident who has a virtual guarantee of a job at the district after this year could have a raise.
Additionally, no explanation as to why Broad would pay for a non-Resident salary (Carol Treat). (They actually do have Associate Residents if someone is already working in a district but their website states that in that case, they DON'T pay half the salary so Ms. Treat isn't in that category.) The Broad Foundation is just a swell bunch of people who love Dr. Goodloe-Johnson so they did her a BIG favor. Oh wait, was that a pig flying outside my window? Nah.
Lastly, I am always patient when I ask for information. But this was a VERY easy request and they know it. But see I'm asking questions they don't want asked. I also just noticed something very interesting about this issue at the SPS website but it's too late to call the headquarters so they'll be an update tomorrow on this topic.
(Sorry about the blue; something in the HTML would not sort out for me.)