Is corruption just envelopes of money passed in secret to politicians? 

by Lisa Haver

Is corruption just envelopes of money passed in secret to politicians?  Or is it the conducted-in-plain-sight corruption of the Board’s outsourcing District business for the profit of outside companies for questionable expenditures? Is it sending hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars every year to vendors operating Ren charters that failed to turn around even one neighborhood school?  Is it the protection of a superintendent and highly paid staff no matter how apparent their incompetence?  

The Board, as parent Stephanie King pointed out in her commentary today in Billy Penn, has a duty to hold the superintendent accountable.  But the Board sees its job as protecting Dr. Hite and his administration even despite the shocking level of incompetence in everything from the BF/SLA $50 million debacle to the “chaotic” rollout of this year’s ESY which Hite’s spokesperson dismissed as “bumps” to the new bell schedule—finalized without public hearings or meaningful input from District principals or teachers or parents—and of course without one word of deliberation by the Board. The Board doesn’t even require its own vote on this momentous change in the daily lives of parents and students. 

But we can count on the Board to silence the very people who should be heard on these issues. The cowardice of the members of this Board is disappointing to all who believed that the end of the SRC meant the beginning of true local control.  When will even one Board member stand up for the people they took an oath to represent?