Karel Kilimnik SRC testimony transcript – October 13, 2016


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I have many questions tonight that need answers from the government officials sitting at the front table. You may not all draw a salary but you make the decisions that impact all of us. Thanks to the policies of Broad trained Dr. Hite and his bosses, the SRC commissioners, our district is being eaten alive by the forces of privatization. Instead of negotiating a fair contract with the PFT you have chosen to squander money on law firms to fight all the way to the state supreme court. Instead of putting that money directly into classrooms so our students can benefit that money has gone into the bank accounts of law firms.

There is a major problem with disappearing resolutions. Resolution b10 handed $23 million dollars to Big Picture a non profit reopening Vaux as a contract school. $23 million for one school? Where is that money coming from? Why was that resolution pulled? Who is investigating this situation? Where are the details of that contract? Why isn’t Strawberry Mansion high school getting some of that $23 million? Is your plan to close Strawberry Mansion and redirect students to Vaux? Where are the Mastery charter renewals for Clymer, Gratz, and Shoemaker ? They have been appearing and disappearing since April. When a decision is made to close a district school there is no negotiation, stakeholders have no say but there is a different standard for charter renewals. They get to negotiate, they get to hire well connected attorneys to argue their case.

Last month I asked which schools are targeted for turnaround of some sort? The answer was revealed earlier this week when Dr. Hite announced the 11 schools on his hit list. Now we find out that yet another private company Cambridge Education is involved in planning the SQR meetings. Why is there a need to pay an out of town contractor to arrange public meetings about our neighborhood schools? There has been no resolution over the past year authorizing payment to the Cambridge Education group so where are the details of this contract? This is our tax money you are showering on this private business. Cambridge Education Group is an education-services provider based in Akron, Ohio the state where charter school fraud is rampant. Almost every one of their partners are involved in financing or sponsoring charter schools. Instead of providing resources that enable this entire school district to become a high quality district schools are being targeted for the following options -going into the turnaround network led by Eric Becoates who has a history of misusing district resources in his former place of employment; or being taken over by a contract partner whatever that means, or restarting the school which sounds like dumping all the school staff, or merging the school with an existing high quality provider and this sounds like a charter management company.

When do we see the Cambridge Education Group contract? I would like Mr. Monson or another staff person to show me where the Cambridge Education Group Resolution has been posted.

The superintendent and SRC commissioners are driving this district into the hands of private companies at an alarming rate of speed. They need to be disbanded. We need a democratically elected school board that puts the needs of every student front and center.