All dollars, regardless of what funding source they are from, are precious resources to be utilized wisely and I am extremely concerned about a recently approved contract that I think is exorbitantly priced.
This contract will provide three part-time personnel who will perform various subject area coaching and other administrative support at Warrington Middle School for the upcoming school year. Initially, this $600K contract came to the board for approval at the June Board meeting. I expressed my concerns at that time, and when I eventually received the contract the next day and read it, my concerns grew even larger.
I spoke via the telephone with Steve Marcanio, director of Curriculum, and with Marcia Nowlin, Title 1 director, on the 17th of June. I told them both at that time on that call that there was no way I could support the expenditure. I also had a lengthy discussion with the superintendent and I told him the same thing. I said I would discuss it at the upcoming workshop with an open mind-- but that I would more than likely be unable to support the contract due to price.
Because of Sunshine Law, I could not discuss the item with the other members of the board who may have held similar concerns—because the initial agreement (which was for $600K for 4 personnel) was unceremoniously deleted from the agenda on the 19th of June. I was told it was not due to any concerns I had raised about the contract; nevertheless I was glad to see that item gone. I would not have voted to approve it.
Fast forward to July, and I missed the first regular meeting of my career on the school board to take a once in a lifetime Mediterranean cruise. I attempted to log-on and call in, however I was unable to connect from the ship in Europe. Missing that meeting broke a streak of 92 previous regular meetings I had made without missing any. But along with missing the meeting, I missed an important vote….
Upon my arrival back in the States, I soon learned that a revised version of the original agreement was put back on the agenda (not linked to the online agenda for review by the board and the public until July 21st, one day before the meeting) and approved by the three board members that were in attendance at the July 22nd board meeting.
While I’m quite pleased that the cost of the contract had been trimmed from $600K to $375K, I’m still concerned about this price-tag; additionally, the number of days that this company will be at Warrington MS has been slashed proportionately in response to the reduced contract cost, and the personnel that will be present under the approved plan amount now to just 3 persons under the revised agreement.
I have heard nothing but wonderful things about this vendorand his team, and I want to make it clear that I harbor no Ill-will toward them and I honestly hope they succeed in their efforts at Warrington Middle. My