In our continuing effort to be transparent, we are making public the letter that is being sent to AdvancED in response to their inquiry. We are also making public our comments about the response.
From: Don McChesney
Sent: Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Subject: My comments on the SACS response letter
I have been reading and rereading your response letter to SACS. My feeling is that we do not always directly address Dr. Elgart’s points. For example in bullet point 2 of Dr. Elgart’s letter it says…. The governing body operates responsibly and functions effectively. I believe that we get a grade of about 60 on that. I would prefer that we just say to SACS that we have issues within the entire system that need scrutiny. Please come in and help us fix the inefficiencies because we know they exist.
I believe that no matter what any letter says that Dr. Elgart is going to do an investigation. Let’s make sure we assist him rather than placing any obstacles in his way. I also am perplexed that you have been placed in the role of responding. These issues are clearly BOE issues that existed prior to you becoming superintendent. You have clearly implemented and tried many new things to upgrade our system. I am particularly enthused with our curriculum revamping and aligned common core standards. This goes to the heart of our real business.
I also believe that we do have issues in our finances. It appears that going back beyond when I came on the BOE that deficit spending was going on. In five years it appears that we have overspent about $50 million. If we had that money today our system would be solvent. I know that KPMG is doing an audit that I think will substantiate many of our suspicions and possible inefficiencies. I welcome this information. State auditors and past superintendents, it appears, have definitely not informed this board or some past boards on issues with our accounting procedures. I want to know why.
My suggestion is that we openly invite SACS in and ask them what we need to do to assist them in getting our system so that it eventually will function at its highest level. This is far better than the “death by a thousand paper cuts.” I am ready for progress and I know you are too.
I do appreciate the efforts you have made to make our school system a quality system. Let us all stay dedicated to this task.