The Retired School Employees Association responds:
Dear Members of the Jefferson County School Board,
On behalf of the Board of Directors of JCRSEA (Jefferson County Retired School Employees Association), we were surprised to receive a response from Mr. Newkirk to our first letter to you (dated January 9) 11 weeks later. We were beginning to think that you would not respond at all – thank you for your VERY belated, but inadequate response.
We expressed concerns around the hiring of Brad Miller as the Jeffco School Board exclusive attorney. You really did not answer our questions adequately, and in light of what has transpired in the last three months, we would like to let you know that we continue to struggle to understand many of your decisions. Therefore, we are presenting some of the major concerns that we would the Jeffco Board of Education to clarify for us as well as the Jeffco community:
1) Explain and justify why you felt the need to hire Brad Miller as the Board attorney, as that has not been done by previous Jeffco School Boards. Also clarify the fact that two of the current board members were not remotely aware that you were considering hiring Mr. Miller until presented to the full board at a meeting where you voted to proceed with this decision.
2) Discuss and clarify fully the terms of Mr. Miller’s contract. To date no formal explanation of his contract has been presented. Discuss why the majority of his services on his invoices to the district to date have been redacted.
3) Regarding Charter Schools please explain how you plan to evaluate and fund existing as well as potential new schools. Will the Board of Education be developing a formal set of standards/criteria for loaning additional monies to floundering schools? Are you developing a rubric for evaluating new applications? Will ALL students within the charter boundaries be allowed to attend, or will the Board permit limited access?
4) In hiring the new superintendent explain and clarify why the top priorities of the public forums and questionnaires are not included in your documents to Ray and Associates.
5) Please justify and explain why the Board did not support the funding of full day kindergarten for schools with highly impacted (35%+) free and reduced students.
6) Clarify and explain why the Board wants to allow the contract between the District and the Jefferson County Education Association to expire in 2015. What are your plans for the future of JCEA and the Board?
7) Will the Board honor the MOU (memorandum of understanding) with JCEA to honor the return of steps to the contract this year? How are you demonstrating transparency when there is an effort to discuss negotiations in Executive Session instead of at the board meeting?
8) How does the Board of Education plan to include all parents (not just “Choice” parents), teachers, administration, students, and support staff in decisions that impact Jeffco Schools?
9) How does the cessation of the appeal over property on Wright Street make good fiscal sense? How do you justify the loss of a $500,000-$1 million piece of property and risk other district property?
As we stated in our first letter, we hope that in the future you will demonstrate complete and full transparency in all board activities. The entire board as well as the Jeffco community deserves to have input prior to making any decisions.
Our combined organizations of retired school employees care very deeply about the continued strength of Jefferson County Schools. We want to insure the very best education for all the children in Jeffco. We look forward to a more timely response to our questions.
Robert D. Zachman
Kathleen E. Zachman
Co-Presidents of JCRSEA
President of JCEA-Retired
The Board Secretary response:
To see the original correspondence, see this link – http://www.supportjeffcokids.org/?p=228