Dr. Winn reported at the June 2 school board meeting that her subcommittee had met on May 31 regarding an audit of the senior administrative staff at USD 500. Simultaneously she submitted a letter agreement dated May 29 for approval. The contract was approved 5 to 2. Why wasn't this $85,000 contract put out for competitive bid? Who decided on the scope of work? Why would Dr. Winn bring this contract to the board without a chance to read it ahead of time? How did she come to have a contract even before the sub-committee met? This whole arrangement was accomplished with remarkable speed and without clarity of purpose or openness of process. A copy of the agreement can be found by clicking here...
This same firm, Corporate Integrity Systems under the leadership of Carla Barksdale, was hired by the Kansas City, MO public schools about 16 years ago, and Ms. Barksdale oversaw the human relations department. At that time, Board members were concerned about the cost of that contract. Kansas City Star Metro Section, 10-23-2002. She was hired again in August 2007 after the Kansas City public schools went through 3 HR directors in rapid succession. This cost the KCMO school district $650,000 by July 2009 according to the Kansas City Star, page A4, 7-25-2009. Our school district has not seen the kind of upheaval in the HR department that KCMO experienced. So what is Dr. Winn's game plan with Corporate Integrity Systems? If you want to read some of the past press coverage about this consultant, click here...
Here in KCK, the vote to hire Ms. Barkdale's firm follows a similar scenario last February when Dr. Winn insisted that property that USD 500 already had under contract to purchase be re-appraised by a company of her choice. In that case, though, the appraiser declined the work because he was not qualified to do that kind of appraisal.
We are concerned about the way the board of education is operating with one person pushing her own agenda, lining up votes before board discussion, then giving contracts without a competitive process.
On another note, the process for choosing our next school superintendent is also a concern. See "Choosing a School Superintendent affects the whole community". We wonder what Gloria Willis would have said about this state of affairs. She was long-time president of the KCK Board of Education.
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.