Today, I am delivering a letter today to Chair Neff and to the office of open records. APPS is requesting information on the payments to date to all of the law firms involved in just three of the district’s current cases: the cancellation of its contract with the PFT; the appeal to the arbitrator’s case on assigning counselors, during which they have had 9 lawyers in the courtroom; and the APPS complaint, now entering its second year, on violations of the Sunshine Act. Any public expenditure is public information, despite what we have been told by one SRC member. The public needs to know how the district which cannot afford to pay teachers a fair wage or fix crumbing buildings can afford exorbitant legal fees over many months, especially in relatively simple cases like the Sunshine Act complaint.
The children of this district are being robbed of their education because of the mismanagement of the Hite administration and the SRC. The beginning of the year, as any educator knows, is crucial and sets the tone for the entire school year. You get to know the children and they get to know you. The most important thing they need to know about their teacher is that she will be there when they need you. But when you are running around covering classes, you aren’t there. When you should be preparing interesting and engaging lessons, the ones you will be judged on, you are covering another class. When you should be calling parents because a child has a problem, or just to introduce yourself to let the parent know you are available, you are covering classes.
This administration and the SRC have moved this district into the corporate world in many ways: privatization, outsourcing, referring to parents as “customers” and talking about “customer service”, inordinate use of data. But in the corporate world, people resign or are fired for a screw-up of this magnitude. All of the people responsible for this debacle should do the decent thing and resign; that includes Dr. Hite and his administration, and it includes the SRC who voted to approve in its haste to find another way to get rid of union employees.