Legislating Policy and Open Government make things a lot easier

One of my biggest arguments for open government is that if you apply it consistently it not only saves taxpayers money, but it prevents a lot of headaches and butt hurt. So the SFSD has spent $181K on a consultant, kept the findings secret and wonder why teachers and parents are upset?

“It’s like we’re shown a product, we give feedback, and then they go behind a curtain and do stuff,” Tony Martinet, president of the Sioux Falls Education Association said. “You don’t get to see the mess. …If from the start, they would have simply said, ‘We are cutting minutes to music, P.E. and art because we’re trying to equalize across the board,’ and just owned it from the start, then I mean, the frustration and the arguments would have not have been there.”

First off, I have never been a fan of consultants in the public sector. They usually charge to much to tell you what you want to hear. The administration usually has an expectation and if you pay someone for that expectation, guess what, you get it.

But what is even more frustrating is the lack of leadership by our School Board;

Martinet and others also urged the Sioux Falls school board multiple times to consider weighing in, but administrators have continuously said the board would not make a decision because the process is an administrative function.

While I partially agree that the School Board, as a part-time elected body doesn’t get involved with sitting in curriculum meetings, they do have the ultimate authority to tell the administration they can or cannot move forward with something without their blessing, that’s kind of their job. And when parents and teachers are telling the school board they feel the process is screwed up, the School Board needs to sit their employee (Super Maher) down and explain to him that they are the legislative body that determines how money is spent and what programs move forward. Simply telling them it is not their ‘function’ is unacceptable. When governing the school district, whether that is budgets, new schools, elections or tax op-outs, that is their job, and thye best do it. We elect them to represent us, the people and parents who fund the district. Public Schools are NOT some fascist regime that can do whatever they want to.



2 comments ↓

#1 23 Elementary School Principals on 06.13.19 at 4:31 pm

Why did taxpayers pay out $181,000 to a consultant when the SFSD has 23 elementary school principals averaging over $100,000 a year (salary only, excluding benefits)?

These are individuals who work with elementary school schedules day in and day out. They couldn’t figure this out on their own!?

Also, in regards to the SF School Board, they abdicated their power and authority along time ago to Dr. Maher, Todd Vik and Doug Morrison.

Watch the Board meetings and their work sessions. They constantly engage in group think and ultimately rubber-stamp anything Maher-Vik-Morrison want.

#2 "'Extremely' Stable Genius" on 06.14.19 at 11:42 pm

Here in River City, we are limited to open collars and sneakers.

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