The first meeting of the Superintendent Application Screening Committee will be held next Tuesday. The idea of having a committee is to get input from the public, as the committee will have no say on actually screening the candidates.
It is just as well, because the people who have been picked for the committee, while fine individuals every one, are not likely to tell the Board anything it doesn’t want to hear. If the board wanted real input, they would have appointed at least one or two dissident voices to the committee.
The main question in most people’s minds is whether or not D. C. Machen should be the next superintendent. Machen has been the Assisitant Superintendent for Administration. It was under his watch that School Board Administration paid $291,266 to Ark-La-Tex Air Repair, Inc., for overcharges, replacement costs covered by warranties, installations that did not occur, and one missing unit.
It was on his watch that Administration may have violated the Public Bid Law for air conditioning purchases and installation totaling $254,598.
In addition, the School Board may have violated Public Bid Law through a $1,067,000 emergencymold remediation contract.
Also under his watch, School Board Maintenance Department employees authorized credit card transactionstotaling $1,833 with Ark-La-Tex Air Repair, Inc., for air conditioning duct cleaning andsanitizing and the replacement of a control board that did not occur.
One current School Board employee performed work and received $3,894 from a current vendor of the School Board in possible violation of Louisiana ethics laws. One former School Board employee may have violated Louisiana ethics laws by receiving $105,769 for services performed for the School Board within two years of the end ofhis employment. (Louisiana Legislative Auditor's full report)
Yet incredibly, despite all of this, several board members have already expressed their support for Machen as the new superintendent.
The fix is in.
We believe that the board is totally out of touch with public sentiment, and that they should consider all applicants equally, particulary those from out of the area. The good old boy network has so infiltrated our school system that it is almost impossible to break it up with anyone local.
Let your board member know what you think today by taking a moment to call or email them.
Your kids’ future is at stake.