Business as usual at the BOE

Board of Education approves new teachers contract, unread. “You’ll have to pass it to find out what’s in it,” Superintendent McKersie told the members, so they did.

 Laura Erickson inquired about the possibility of delaying the vote.

“I appreciate all the work that went into this, but we just got this 15 minutes ago,” Erickson said. “I haven’t had a chance to look at the cost-of-contract sheet. If we had a little more time, I would like to take some more time.”

But Sherr and other board members, as well as McKersie, pressed for a vote.

And this is where our bill goes, right on top

And this is where our bill goes, right on top

In other news, it seems we’re about to spend education dollars on yet another consultant firm to tell us how best to educate our children.

Six consulting firms have submitted bids to help the school district create a three- to five-year strategic plan covering all aspects of the school system.

“This provides us with a nice range of options for selecting an organization to facilitate the district’s strategic planning process,” said Superintendent of Schools William McKersie. “We received six proposals from leading firms around the country.”

School officials want to develop a comprehensive plan that includes academic and extracurricular programs, financial management, human resources and building use.

I thought that’s what the Board of Education was supposed to be doing all this time. Is it just me, or do we really have a constant, ongoing flow of consultants studying and producing “strategic studies” each year?

14 Comments

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14 responses to “Business as usual at the BOE

  1. weakleyhollow

    Consultants are folks just like you and me, but they’re from out of town, and until last week, they were out of work.

  2. Ghost of the FAR Czar

    Teacher salaries in the 2013-2014 town budget are almost $87 million. I would have hoped that an expenditure of that size merited at least a little public discussion by the BOE. And speaking of consultants, I’d love to see an analysis of how accurate the enrollment projections from our last set of crack consultants/landscape architects were versus this year’s actual enrollment, particularly at Riverside School.

  3. AJ

    Ever consider a class action law suit. After all, it is your money they’re spending.

  4. towny

    The basic tenet of Town Govt. as per the John Margenot School of Civics.

    Lets do a study on it = Lets kick the can down the road as it appears we are doing something.

  5. pulled up in OG

    BoE VC: “You whiners have no clue. Welcome to the club.”

    “The Board of Education, to me, they’re a department that does a great job,” said Board of Estimate and Taxation Chairman Michael Mason. “In general, I think the departments in town do a wonderful job of spending their resources as needed, rather than spending them because they have them. I think Greenwich is far superior to any of our peer communities in that fiscal stewardship.”

    Looking ahead, Branyan said district administrators want to make expenditures match up even closer with allotted spending.

    To that end, the new report identifies the 10 categories with the greatest unspent amounts, together accounting for 82 percent of the 2013-14 unspent total.

    Leading that list was spending for long-term substitute and temporary teachers, which came in about $608,000 less than projected.

    Next was the allocation for salary adjustments, about $354,000 less than anticipated. A line item that covers spending on consultants accounted for the third-highest unspent total, about $293,000.

    Board of Education members reviewed the district’s end-of-year finances at their meeting on Thursday night.

    “I’d love to know how we achieved it,” Vice Chairman Jennifer Dayton said of the savings with long-term substitutes and temporary teachers. “What good practices led to that downward trend?”

    http://www.greenwichtime.com/local/article/Greenwich-schools-finished-year-with-money-to-5719919.php

    • Anonymous

      When the mark at the table is the Greenwich taxpayer, there is a lot more looting to be done.
      Heck, they can only steal so much in one year.
      Give them time.

  6. Riverside Dog Walker

    The ability to effectively plan for the future and successfully execute said plan is why we pay big bucks for the school superintendent. Our school system is not a multi-national Fortune 500 company where the CEO can not be expected to understand detailed aspects of global operations and issues and may have a legitimate need for an outside set of eyes, ears, and brains.

    We do seem to have a steady stream of consultants and buzzwords/projects like the digital learning thing, common core, and magnet schools in western Greenwich which anyone with a brain would figure out aren’t going to draw students from eastern Greenwich. All of which distract from accountability and common sense solutions.

    It is all such a joke and sad. The BOE is about as effective as RTM.

    • Demmerkrat Patriot

      The RTM is not nearly as effective as the BOE. At least the Board of Education votes on things.

  7. Ghost of the FAR Czar

    PS – I had to post this here. From the BOE website:

    The Board of Education Governance Policy G-000 states: The Board of Education shall govern the District in such a manner that it sets the national standard for governance, oversight, public engagement and stewardship of the public education system.

    I guess they weren’t thinking about which kind of national standard they were setting…..

  8. Anonymous

    Laura Erickson since day one has claimed she never has enough time to study the issue. I believe I am correct when I say Erickson holds no job so claiming she just received the contract is a load of crap. This board is becoming worse than the one lead by Moriarity and Anderson. Now we have Erickson and Appelbuam. Appelbuam who only votes the way Erickson does.

  9. Greenwich Taxpayer

    Sounds like Obamacare – pass it first, read it later and let the taxpayers pay through the nose!