Part 3 of 3

Issue #3.  Motion # 38- Reorganization and Mary Guinn  

Why was staff told to bury in a grant, under a Cross and Juftus consulting contract, Mary Guinn’s salary, all of her travel costs to and from wherever she goes and her meal and hotel bills at the Embassy Suites?

I have requested a copy of the Cross and Joftus contract, Mary Guinn’s job description, a schedule of all compensation paid to her, her assistants or others on her behalf, directly and indirectly, the name of the Grant charged with her compensation and the “special” qualities that she has that are not presently available from the staff of the BPS. 

Who negotiated the Cross and Juftus contract?  Why wasn’t BOE approval required?

Why hasn’t the BOE seen her contract, her resume, her title, her connections to BOE members and consultants and her job description?  Who granted her authority?  Was that one of the other “sharing” moments in an illegal small group meeting?  I’ve made repeated requests for that information and I’ve been stonewalled.

The Superintendent defended the $14,000 raises to the 4 Community Superintendents saying their job descriptions were expanded.  Do the math.  We started with 3 Community Superintendents for 57 schools which amounts to19 schools each.  We then added a new position to get 4 with responsibility for 14 schools each and also created 5 new positions of Supervising Principals to assist them.  Where did we specifically give expanded responsibilities?  I request citations to the budget line items that provided funds for these changes without BOE approval.  The fact is, Mary Guinn wanted to hire her good friend and pay her more money than the job called for, so she gave all of them raises.

Also why did Superintendent Guinn hire principals from outside our system?  The morale of all those principals who worked hard for merit promotions was skewed in prior years by a pawn of James Williams, who appointed incompetents from the Sisterhood friends and family club, most of whom are now located in failed schools.  Now, under the Guinn regime, they have been shoved to the back of the line again to allow the hiring of a cast of misfits from someplace else.

All that and at the same time the BPS sought to deprive its students of a music program and other basic services.

I move that the complete Reorganization Plan and all requested information on Mary Guinn be submitted to the BOE for its approval.

Issue #31.  Motion #37. Outsourcing and Vouchers

BPS unions feel entitled to extraordinary benefits and outrageous control of work rules that they bargained away from weak, union inclined, Boards of Education in the past.  Good and well intentioned teachers and principals fail to keep their self-absorbed and corrupted leadership under control.  Considering the web of contractual rights, laws and rules and the lack of interest in changing the status quo by our complicit and disengaged legislative delegation, citizens who seek to reform the dysfunction have few weapons to employ.  One very powerful tool to achieve productive education and allocate resources to the children is to dismantle the dysfunctional BPS and outsource education.

Retiree Health Care costs have skyrocketed to $66.6 million for 4000 plus retirees amounting to $16,600/retiree/year.  Union leadership in current negotiations demand more and use as a tactic the art of standing in the way and filing grievances on everything imaginable.

Inept BOE members are rife with complacency and actually fear the union leaders.   They are bought and paid for by union donations.  Such complicit and compromised people should not be representing the community and the children.

BPS spends $29,000/year/student after payments to Charters and still can’t make ends meet. Charters receive and must operate efficiently on only $12,000/year/student.  As a result 45 of 57 schools are failing and the graduation rate is 46%.

Andrew Cuomo claims he wants to do something about the tragic failure of Urban Education in upstate New York, “but” we have to wait until January.  He doesn’t have a plan, and there is the problem of walking between the raindrops so as to not get Sheldon Silver and his favorite union, NYSUT, upset.

Cuomo doesn’t have the backbone to consider doing what Governor Jindal did in Louisiana.  He gave parents in dysfunctional urban school districts vouchers so that they too can choose the school to educate their children.  Cuomo is in the wind because he and his liberals want to keep the urban poor captive and dependent so they will continue to vote for liberals and elitists like him who live in the big houses in suburban school districts and send their children to private schools.  He is a demagogue who seeks to extend the hypocrisy that NYSUT and the urban poor have something in common.

The sisterhood members of the BOE have the same lame philosophy and game plan.  Sam Radford and the DPCC are too timid to say it.  There is absolutely no hope of structurally changing the BPS from within.  Regurgitating the same old promises and hollow plans with new titles and faces is simply kicking the reality can further down the road.  The present “reform-less” reorganization of the BPS will just delay the inevitable and destroy another generation of the urban poor.

I move that the BOE request that the Governor immediately convene the New York State Legislature and sponsor a bill allowing vouchers to every parent of the 27,000 students in the 45 failed schools in the BPS and every other failing school in New York State.

It will take courage for members of the BOE to vote “yes” on the resolution but it will finally identify to the community the hidden agenda of the membership.

Issue #22.  Motion #39.  Tenure

The motion presented in the memo of August 16, 2013 is withdrawn and the following motion is submitted.

I move that the Board of Education instruct the Superintendent to immediately stand-still on all future tenure approvals and denials for principals and/or teachers pending a complete review of policy and process by a select committee of the BOE to ensure equity, objectivity and fairness to the process.

The issuance of a denial of tenure or a JUUL to teachers and/or principals is the kiss of death on their résumé when applying for other positions.  Union leaders conspiring to recriminate against employees for speaking out on issues or senior administrators having an unfair bias will not be possible with an objective decision maker.  Playing games with people’s lives should not be an option.