Rodman Reynolds, who has been very active in our group and was a candidate for school board a couple of years ago, has filed a recall petition against all 5 members of the Everett School Board.
The Board has violated state law by not having an auditing committee to over-see the finances of the district.
The irony of this situation is that the Superintendent (Gary Cohn) has a finance background. The Board president is a Pastor of a large Lutheran Church in Everett and is required by their governing body to have an auditing committee to oversee their finances. The Board Vice President is a CPA and one of the other members runs a community Housing program which I am SURE has some sort of independent oversight of their finances. It begs to be asked.... why is this idea lost on them? I guess it's like so many others - they would rather fight against doing the right thing than actually do the right thing.
The immediate response was to call an emergency meeting to find out if the ESD is going to pay the legal fees of the directors to protect them in their disregard for the law. I assume the district's message to the public will be, "This man is taking precious resources out of the classroom to sue us." No, this man is trying to make sure this district acts in accordance to the law.
Rodman has filed a recall petition against the board president before that was denied. But, I have a feeling this one will stick. The Everett School Board is not above the law. In fact, I checked with at least one other district about having an auditing committee and their response was, "Of course we do. We legally have to have one."
On another note, the district also has decided to pretend like they haven't already decided to start elementary school 20 minutes later next year. That means a 9:35 start and that kids will be walking home at nearly dusk at the other end since it will also end 20 minutes later. In typical fashion, no actual parent seems to have been talked to regarding the change. The "official" response received by one of my complaining friends was, "we also are touching base with child care providers, youth activity organizations, pediatricians, dentists -- those businesses and organizations whose schedules are impacted by school schedules." HUH? Apparently, they have no interest in touching base with the actual families who are impacted by this decision. I know a lot of moms who already find it nearly impossible to get to work on time as it is. A later start time means that money the district says they will save by doing this ($162,000 - which is about what the Superintendent makes), will merely be handed down to the families who may now have to pay for morning care for their small children.
Just once in my lifetime would I like to see the Everett School District send out an email survey to parents. My sister-in-law works at a district in Utah and she said that they REGULARLY send out email surveys to parents on changes like this. But, again, that "right thing" concept seems to be lost on this group. They would rather pretend that the shoulder slaps and friendly handshakes they get at Rotary is all the approval they need for any decision they make. Talking to the public just gets messy....