I have questions about the KCK Board of Education agenda for August 14. Once again it is important to stick around while the board is in executive session to see what happens with the following agenda item. After approving the budget, paying bills, etc. in public session, the board plans to leave to discuss superintendent goals in executive session, then return to public session for Item 11, Board Discussion/Action: approve contract addendum with Corporate Integrity Systems, LLC. The recommended action is “That the Kansas City Board of Education approve an addendum to contract with Corporate Integrity Systems, LLC. The original contract was approved at the Special Meeting held on Saturday, June 2, 2018. The addendum modifies and clarifies the scope of the audit and cooperation needed from KCKPS to complete audit.” As a concerned resident, I am confused because the CIS inquiry seems to go from an analysis of upper level administrative actions relating to board policy to a burdensome inquiry into all employees except teachers, police and library.
EFFECTIVE USE OF DISTRICT RESOURCES AND TIME. The Board should be transparent with the goal of the audit by an outside consultant like CIS. I still don’t understand what the purpose of this audit was in the first place. Have some specific problems been identified that require investigation? If so, shouldn’t the public know what those problems are? And if not, then what is the point? How is the CIS inquiry expected to improve the District? The board is approving the annual budget at this same meeting. What would the $85,000 budgeted for the CIS inquiry have been used for if we didn’t have this audit? The Board sets policy, and it is the Superintendent’s job to make sure board policy is implemented? Is the new Superintendent OK with this level of micromanaging from the board? This expanded inquiry seems likely to take employees away from their assigned tasks. Will employees be compensated for the overtime or will the consultant be riding along on the bus? Will the $85,000 allocated for this project include any such additional expenses?
EXPANDED SCOPE. Why expand the CIS inquiry? What has CIS found since June 2? Why not have an interim report from CIS that specifies the need for additional access? In the original agreement, “CIS specialists and consultants will review Board policies; interview staff; review relevant documents, including but not limited to job descriptions; review administrative procedures that implement Board policies; and provide recommendations for compliance if non-compliance is found.” And the cap on that contract was $85,000. OK, so CIS and any additional consultants they choose to subcontract would look at board policies and job descriptions and interview staff about compliance with board policies. This addendum now defines “administrative tier” to include “officers, directors, executive directors, coordinators, instructional coaches, technicians, bus drivers, and administrative/board support”, and “all personnel positions at KCKPS except teachers, police officers and library employees”. It specifically mentions bus drivers. Why? Does that mean that staff cooks and maintenance workers are also “administrative tier”? Why? This addendum says, “All District employees and contractors shall cooperate with this Board sanctioned audit.” Contractors are not District employees. Is meeting with CIS part of such contractors’ existing agreements with the District?Will construction workers building new school buildings be asked to knock off to talk to CIS?
EMPLOYEE PRIVACY. This addendum also says “KCKPS shall provide CIS with… access to personnel files – paper and electronic; and access to payroll information.” Does CIS really need individual personnel files to verify administrative compliance with board policies? Can individual employees appeal for protection from sharing any part of their employment file? Medical information? Anything? Would you want to work in a place that makes electronic copies of your personnel file available to outside entities in this era of hacking and shrinking privacy? Do District contractors, like construction companies, have to provide information internal to their business? Granted, “CIS …will not disclose or otherwise reveal, directly or indirectly, to any other person or entity such information unless authorized …or required by law.” OK, but the original agreement said CIS consultants would be helping with the audit. Who are the consultants and does CIS’s agreement to privacy bind them too?
This Blog is being generated by a group of citizens invited by USD 500 to participate as a Citizen's Advisory Committee during the Bond Issue campaign. This group continues to be involved in supporting USD 500 and watching the results from the successful Bond election. This Blog is best read from the bottom/oldest post to the to/newest post.