Our District Lost 20 million dollars Due the Negligence of the Superintendent
TEXT OF THE LETTER TO THE SCHOOL BOARD PRESIDENT:
3 January 2014
Kristi Swett, President
Salt Lake City School District, Board
2256 South King Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84109
Re: Agenda Request \Race to the Top Grant
Dear President Swett,
I am writing this letter to formally request that you place the issue of the 2013-Race to the Top (RTTT) grant application on the agenda of an upcoming school board meeting. If it is your intent to deny this request, I ask that you notify me in a timely manner so that I may pursue other measures to rectify this situation.
I just received word that the Salt Lake City School District was not awarded the requested 20 million dollar, RTTT grant. Moreover, I am outraged to read the evaluators’ assessments, documenting the reasons that the school district lost points, causing us to score far below the threshold of being awarded the grant.
If you recall, in the September 17, 2013, school board meeting, I raised concerns that the district not repeat the same mistakes that were made in the 2012 grant application process. The Superintendent repeatedly declared that my feedback was “irrelevant”. There was also a commitment that we would have a private meeting with the superintendent to discuss my concerns, that meeting never materialized. I now believe that superintendent’s words and actions were duplicitous, which has now denied the schools in my district the benefit of 20 million dollars. Dollars that would have gone towards improving the educational outcomes of our students. It also appears that the superintendent had no intention to report the results of the RTTT grant to the board of education. I am of the opinion that it is imperative that the superintendent be required to give the board an accounting of his inactions in this matter. It defies the spirit and purposes of the grant to exclude and disregard the feedback of a major stakeholder, a stakeholder who is the elected representative of the schools that would have benefited from this grant. I am convinced, that had the superintendent treated my concerns, voiced in the September meeting, with any measure of deference, we would not be in the situation we are in today.
I also believe that the superintendent owes my community and the schools in my district a public apology for the negligence that led to the district’s loss of the 2013 –RTTT grant. The lack of accountability of the Superintendent’s office has reached an intolerable level for me and will only become increasingly detrimental to the families in my community if not appropriately addressed.
J. Michael Clára