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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Work Session on Capacity Management Heads Up

Unbeknowst to me, the schedule changed.  They are having an Executive Session from 4-4:30 p.m., then the Exit Conference from 4:30-5:515 p.m. and THEN the Work Session from 5:15 - 6:30 p.m.

They are running LATE.  The traffic is horrible and the Mariners game just let out.  As of 4:15 p.m. they had NOT started the Executive session so I don't expect the Work Session to start until at least 5:30 p.m.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

OK, I can't imagine SPS is looking forward to the headlines in the Times tomorrow. The Board does NOT look good. More of the same, but worse.

Mr. Ed

Anonymous said...

Mr. Ed,

Do you know about a story that is coming out in the Seattle Times tomorrow? Can you share more?

Curious

Anonymous said...

Well, you don't want me to ruin the surprise... Besides, Melissa will be giving you the rundown also.

Mr. Ed

mirmac1 said...

You read it in the Times last...

Anonymous said...

mirmac1, that link doesn't work, and the link I *think* you were trying to use says the story has been removed. Was this it, btw? From the name, it looks like the story was about an audit, and 30 million dollars perhaps?

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2015465886_audit30m.html

- now I am really curious

The Real Arnold said...

Here is the link: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2015465886_audit30m.html

Anonymous said...

sigh, that last part after ...localnews/ should have been: 2015465886_audit30m.html

- now I am really, really curious

anonymous said...

What's up with the evasiveness Mr. Ed? If you have some news either share or don't say anything at all.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. The story has been removed, but there was a single comment, and I found the original headline and story blurb:

Audit questions another Urban League contract with Seattle schools
"The state auditor is again questioning whether the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle has overcharged Seattle Public Schools — this time for a contract it signed with the school district in December to help African-American students at Cleveland High."

- now my curiosity is REALLY peaked

The Real Arnold said...

Audit Story

Nothing here about 30 million.

anonymous said...

Thanks for the link anonymous
but the times page says the story has been removed

Anonymous said...

Arnold, it was a blind guess from the "audit30m" in the file name. Looks like this is about the Urban League sucking even more money out of our schools. I really, really hope it was not in the $30 million range.

To be perfectly clear to everyone reading this: $30 MILLION IS A BLIND GUESS, AND NOT BASED IN ANY FACTS WHATSOEVER, JUST A FILE NAME.

- this cat may lose one of nine curious lives over the inadvertent stress I may be causing

Anonymous said...

Link seems to be working now.

Gist of the story is the district signed an $80,000 contract (whew, not $30 mil) with the Urban League to provide was was essentially tutoring services. The invoices sent to SPS were one-line wonders that came in at $8,000 per month, and who knows if any tutoring was actually done. After paying out $36,000, the contract was cancelled. Of course, we are all now asking what the hell the district was doing signing contracts with the Urban League after the Potter fiasco....

- still curious

Anonymous said...

Now I want to know more about the last two paragraphs in the article:

"Along with questioning the Urban League contract, the auditors raised concerns about how the district safeguards funding in its Associated Student Body programs, and whether it is losing too much money from lost laptops that students receive as part of the new science-math-technology program at Cleveland.

In addition, the auditor reported a number of problems with Associated Student Body funding at Garfield, which has cost one employee her job."

I suppose the best thing to do at this point is wait for Melissa to write up the meeting notes.

- still curious

mirmac1 said...

Times front page now

Anonymous said...

BB

a) I don't want to recount details incorrectly; and b) it got people searching for the story. Is that okay?

Believe me, there's more details so read the actual report when it is released. Or don't, no big.

Mr Ed

amiyawilliams said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Po3 said...

Question, is Duggan Harmen one of the employees awarded a pay raise?

uxolo said...

The new policies that Seattle Citizen shares here (6/28 Capacity Management blog) were passed just in time for the changeover of the New School to the hands of the League of Education Voters.

The New School funding expires this year. Which other schools is LEV targeting to take over? When would they need to present to the Board?

Sahila said...

as you all know, LEV is an ed deform astro-turf group....

Handing over the New School to them COULD be considered "back door" charterisation/privatisation...

seattle citizen said...

Geez, people, listen to you! "Wait for Melissa to write it up..."
While Melissa can be counted on to provide stellar reporting, on meetings, on history, on...reporting, surely some of us can do it ourselves and give the poor woman a break! Any one of us can write a commentary on this article (if not the precision and standards of neutrality of Melissa's work.)
But don't take any LONG vacations, Melissa; we DO need you!

Dorothy Neville said...

I don't think it's the ST article that Mr Ed is referring to. I believe that both Mr Ed and Melissa attended the audit exit interview yesterday and Melissa took notes. I believe that we should be looking for the audit report, read it ourselves from the SAO website when it comes available. Then someone should ask for the full audit with exceptions and publish that.

seattle citizen said...

While Uxolo's and Sahila's comments on my links to the new policies that structure "Lead Partners" like LEV might SEEM off topic, think about it: "Capacity Management" is the thread; how will the district provide two sorts of schools to serve the demographic capacities in the city? Why, by writing policy that mimics charters of course, and by getting the board to approve the two policies two weeks ago.

These policies "MANAGE" to allow buildings run by "lead partners" that have CAPACITY to be accountable only to the barest of performance. I mean, who would oversee these "lead partners," particularly if the district signs willingly onto their programs, and is beholden to them for the money they bring to programs and to campaign warchests?

Here are the polocies again, read
'em and weep (links won't paste, for some reason, go to SPS, to Board, to Board Policies...as you should, regularly, anyway - they are changing quickly):
E03.00
E04.00

someone said...

Here's the audit report via SAO

SPS audit

Anonymous said...

Yes, Dorothy. There were four exit items and seven management letter items. Lots of details that require a readthru of the actual report. The Times took the chickensh*t route by beating the one dead horse.

Mr Ed

joanna said...

I was almost 9:00 PM before the Capacity Management work session adjourned. I kept wondering if they were reluctant to get to the more difficult disturbing pieces. It is very bad sign that a model that was suppose to result in stability and predictability for families and communities has so many potential moving pieces. I feel that once again we could drive families out of the District if the students and families are not put first. Since this thread has not really been about the capacity issues I will wait for another thread to say any more. Perhaps there is no more to be said.

mirmac1 said...

Seattle Citizen,

That decision sounds like one that should be immediately revisited by the new School Board, come 1/1/2012.

Anonymous said...

The Auditor's Report references misappropriation of Associated Student Body (ASB) funds, which the Times article seems to gloss over.

During the internal investigation at Garfield, the District's ASB accountant found checks and cash totaling around $56,000 in unsecured locations. Is it any surprise that over $6,000 remains unaccounted for?

Is this old news?

a reader

joanna said...

It seems like this is more of a thread on the audit report than on capacity management. Was it intended to be on both?

Maureen said...

joanna, none of us know anything about the capacity report. We can read the ST article and the audit report and talk about the audit. Why don't you tell us about capacity since you were there? Then we can talk about it.

Anonymous said...

A reader,

Like I said, the Seattle Times picked the easy headline and glossed over the real bombshell item.

Mr. Ed

Maureen said...

From the audit report linked to above: Inadequate and ineffective supervisory oversight resulted in a loss of public funds and allowed an employee to disregard District procedures.

Do ASB supervisors in the school report to someone downtown, or is it the principals' responsibility to make sure they are following procedures? Is this what Cordell Carter/Ammon McWashington would have been in charge of?

(ASB -- Associated Student Body -- Basically student government)

Maureen said...

From the audit report: In reviewing the payments for this contract, we found an Executive Director of Education approved invoices that lacked sufficient detail to show they were for a valid District purpose; were for services within the scope of contract and were not overbillings. The Education Director also allowed the vendor to provide services before the contract was signed and approved by all appropriate District officials.

They are talking about Cleveland HS here, so the Executive Director would be Mr. Tolley.

Po3 said...

From the audit:

"We recommend the District:
Hold staff accountable when District policies or procedures are not followed."

Very good opportunity for Dr. Enfield to show how things would be run if she were given the job.

mirmac1 said...

Since this thread's evolved into WTF? and money, thought I'd pass along some information.

FY12 Budget shows 73.1 more FTEs and $10.8M more in expenditures than last year. I thought we had to cut, what was it, $43M or something ridiculous like that? Dang, do we got some money managers, or what!

Anonymous said...

Enrollment has increased so you'll need more FTEs, yes?

mirmac1 said...

So far I count 60 more teachers (not including SPED. Gee, good thing we laid off teachers!

I'm feeling really snarky.