DPS spending money like a house on fire

Remember this time last year? That’s when the board was willing to spend $200,000 to hire Huffmaster to break a DEA strike, because, well, we didn’t have the money to pay our teachers more.

We lost staff, who bolted instead of risking a strike, the money to Huffmaster was wasted, with a last minute deal, and the teachers who didn’t get their step increases, or a three year contract, had to start the school year off last year without their normal prep time.

We could blame Rhonda Corr for that, although the more likely suspect was Adil Baguirov (who should have already been off the board over his residency issue), but the reality is- the rest of the bargaining team is still in place, including our new Superintendent Libbie Lolli.

thumbnail of Human Resources 5-29-18

Handing money out like Candy. Click image to download PDF

What a difference a year and a new board make. Lolli handed out RETROACTIVE raises to admin and staff, and now, extended the DEA contract, threw back in the step increases and released new pay scales- including 2 positions that seem really strange: Director 2 (No bachelors degree) starting at $79,380.77 and Associate Director 2 (No bachelors degree) starting at $67,470.63. Now, I grant you, a bachelors degree isn’t necessary to run a bus fleet or be head of maintenance, but, I’m wondering if these aren’t in place for a certain PR person- who might not have completed her studies at Ohio University.

That’s a lot of cash for someone who didn’t finish college – and to be working in education.

There also seems to be a whole lot of new directors. This week alone we find out that we are now still in the hunt for a Principal at Belmont- after Dr. Donetrus Hill had already started telling everyone that it will be a student uniform required school next year (for the record, East side schools tend not to require uniforms- West side do.).

Now Dr. Hill will have the title: Chief of Curriculum, Instruction, PD/Math/Science  and a new big bump in pay $117,000.00. He’s been here since January of 2017.

Wyetta Hayden is now Chief of Schools Elementary- $119,966.00

The new to DPS Carolyn Mack is Chief of Curriculum, Instruction, PD/ELA/SS and making $119,966.00

The new Executive director of Athletics took the pay up over $100K, Shawna Welch- who has been with the district a long time, now makes $105,373.75
A new hire from Cincinnati Public Schools Lynsa Davie, is the new Chief of Schools Special Projects, and making $117,040.0
Now, let’s rewind back to Lori Ward’s day- where the complaint was that downtown was too top heavy….
You had about 7 people making over $100k, The superintendent, the Treasurer, the head of the construction project John Carr, and the two chiefs who managed the schools and the one constant teflon coated associate superintendent- Sheila Burton.
Burton, gets yet another raise as Associate Superintendent to $126,075.00 which is mind boggling, since she’s never taught in a real school, given grades, or had to write a lesson plan.
https://youtu.be/MxjVopw4wK0
Just for the record, Lisa Minor- who used to be Chief of School improvement- made $96K under Ward and worked her butt off, nights and weekends. She is now in Trotwood. She was one of the two people who engineered the A in annual yearly progress, the other being David Lawrence, who was making $120K before they bought his contract out. He also worked ridiculous hours.
There is a travesty in all this happy go Lolli spending- the only truly proven and competent person in the district, who happens to also hold a Superintendents license, is former Stiver Principal Erin Dooley- is now the Chief of Schools, Secondary- and is still going to be working at Stivers- is only getting paid $117,000.00, which is almost $3000 less than her elementary counterpart Wyetta Hayden, who can’t be found after 6pm, unless there is a board meeting.
Dooley has had the only top performing school in the district for the last 20 years. She’s the only one who has created a culture of excellence, and trained many principals. If there is anyone who should be making $127K a year it’s her- not Burton.
There are a few “you have to be kidding” promotions on this HR report- but, they aren’t worth discussing. The more interesting item is that the auditor is resigning, and we will see if the position gets refilled.
The 5 year budget wasn’t posted on Friday but is now. It will take a while to analyze, but you can guarantee a levy will be coming, and it’s also pretty probable it will fail.
Missing is an executive session to discuss a certain settlement offer. We’ll see if they update the agenda.

Update: Monday: 28, 2018

This post kept me up thinking last night.

Maybe this is the beginning of a marketing to the community push?

Since Lolli is an introvert, and has shied away from any marketing plan, or efforts, maybe, she envisions all these new chiefs spreading out into the community to talk about the new changes she’s making.

Of course, the fact that few of her chiefs have ties to the community, or know it well, kinda hurt her if that’s her plan.

So far, we still have no strategic plan, the organizational chart and budget seem to be the only thing growing, while the district is shrinking.

Or as we used to say, “Too many chiefs, too few Indians.”

Incompetence at all levels of Dayton Public Schools

Dayton Ohio Dunbar High School Basketball program deflatedTo recap: Under the previous school board, In November of 2016, there was a major violation of sportsmanship when Dunbar played an ineligible football player, and tried to throw a game to Belmont. It was bizarre and obvious that something smelled at DPS.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association investigated, and pushed for the district to fire District Athletic Director LaMark Baker. The board instead gave him a 2 year contract. OHSAA imposed three years of sanctions and oversight of the district and a $10K fine.

Old board also gives former Superintendent Rhonda Corr a 3 year contract. She hires Dr. Venita Kelly and Marsha Bonhart at $90K ea a year to run PR. Corr puts Bonhart over Baker.

Board kicks Corr to the Curb in November of 2017. Board has new composition after Dr. Adil Baguirov resigns because David Esrati threatens mandamus action for his removal, since on Election Day, his voting registration has moved to Vandalia district. Esrati had made a case in April of 2017 that Baguirov didn’t live in the district- no officials investigated or acted. Now Rev William Harris is on Board. They put Corr on paid admin leave- promote Dr. Elizabeth Lolli to acting superintendent, this was caused because the investigation into the EEOC claims by Dr. Markay Winston uncovered credible evidence that Corr was less proficient than the stellar performance review that the board had just given her.

New board takes over in January- already has a PR debacle thanks to Lolli and Dr. Burton announcing the potential closing of schools without doing proper PR management. All schools discussed are on the West side. A task force is set-up prior to the board being seated- and Mohamed Al-Hamdani is appointed co-chair- before he has taken office. Task force tries to meet in secret, fails, then has secret meeting bus tour- Esrati files a lawsuit.

End of January 2018, Dunbar and Thurgood JV basketball game erupts in a bench clearing brawl at end of game. Rookie Dunbar Coach Chuck Taylor gets punished for calling a parent names. Thurgood sits all players for mandatory 2 game suspension. Apparently, Dunbar doesn’t.

In playoffs, Dunbar’s failure to enforce suspensions causes them to forfeit at playoff game for an ineligible player. This puts Thurgood into the playoffs. Lolli, who is now superintendent, with a huge pay package, and three year contract- without having to apply, without the job being opened up, or the district doing proper due diligence, now has brilliantly bad idea to sue OHSAA to get Dunbar back in the playoffs and kick Thurgood out.

They spend at least $50K with Subashi and Wildermuth to file suit and have a court decision. Court rules for DPS, Dunbar wins 1 game, loses the next. None of the players ever serve their 2 game suspensions. No one on the board seems to think this is a bad idea.

Sources tell esrati.com that OHSAA has been provided video that proves Coach Taylor committed perjury in his testimony, alerts DPS. Demands an apology,  repayment, and some kind of remediation to the ongoing problems. DPS votes to increase budget by $50K to Subashi and Wildermuth, which is either to cover payment to OHSAA or to continue to fund costs of ongoing lawsuit with Esrati, after they lose the first round argument that the task force is a public body subject to the Sunshine Laws. BTW- Esrati is representing himself. The Board and City had had up to 5 different lawyers working to beat him.

An emergency meeting called this morning to discuss:

The purpose of the meeting shall be to discuss new information about the OHSAA court case involving Dunbar High School. The meeting will include an executive session to:

  • consider the appointment, employment, dismissal, discipline, promotion, demotion, or compensation of a public employee, or the investigation of charges or complaints against a public employee; and

  • Confer with an attorney for the school board concerning disputes involving the school board that are the subject of pending court action.

Attorney Brian Wildermuth was there. They met for almost an hour, came out and Harris made an announcement that they had made some decisions, that things hadn’t gone the way they wanted, and hinted that changes would be forthcoming.

“The BOE has been updated on the “Dunbar basketball situation” while the new information is not what we would like to hear, we acknowledge the need to accept it and move forward. The superintendent is making some changes within the structure of the athletic department and we support those changes. It is time to move forward in the Dayton Public Schools in all areas and departments.”

DPS staff attorney, Jyllian Bradshaw has been absent through most of this on maternity leave. The board has been dependent on a bunch of different law firms in her absence including Brickler and Eckler, which did the investigation on Winston’s complaint.

In this time frame, Wildermuth was also handed a defeat in the appeals court on the termination of former Treasurer Craig Jones. So this means that they are on the losing side of 3 cases so far.

After the meeting adjourned this morning, I went up to Dr. Lolli and confronted her on why I had to listen to PR Chief Marsha Bonhart on a personal phone call for almost the entire length of time that they were in executive session. She didn’t respond, looking absolutely aghast that I would speak to her. BTW- the board voted last meeting to not renew Dr. Kelly- but kept Bonhart. I don’t allow my employees one hour personal calls while on the clock- apparently Lolli does. It’s not as if there isn’t a lot to do to fix the PR problems of the district.

While Bonhart gabbed, internal auditor, Randall Harper tried to get work done on his laptop during the exec session. Bonhart didn’t even have a laptop with her.

I have video of Bonhart’s call, it’s just not worth sharing.

Sources have said their will be a joint press release in the coming days, where DPS acknowledges their mistakes, apologizes to OHSAA, announces that DPS will reimburse OHSAA for their legal fees, and that structural changes have been made in DPS.

Here are our informed guesses of what may happen:

  • Mark Baker resigns as District Athletic Director. May continue employment in the district at another position so as to not pay yet another contract off.
  • Chuck Taylor is not renewed as a basketball coach. He also retires as a bailiff in Dayton Municipal Courts. No further charges are brought.
  • Dunbar gets yet a third athletic director, as current AD is non-renewed.
  • New District Athletic Director no longer reports to Bonhart, but directly to Lolli.
  • Dunbar basketball program is put on watch by the OHSAA for three more years.

Predictions, DPS enrollment drops by another several hundred after his latest show of incompetence. Board is too stupid to sue Subashi and Wildermuth for bad legal advice, and continues to pay them ridonkulous sums to try to make up for the Board and Lolli’s incompetence.

I win suit on task force violations of sunshine laws in case scheduled for court on Aug. 1. I collect $500, board has spent tens of thousands to defend their illegal actions, I appeal to Ohio Auditors open records unit to have Mims, Al-Hamdani, Walker and Harris removed from office. They don’t do anything. I file a lawsuit to force Ohio to enforce their own damn laws, and 2 years later- all are removed from office.

UPDATE

12:17 pm complete text of joint release

News Release – Ohio High School Athletic Association
Executive Director Daniel B. Ross, Ph.D.
www.OHSAA.org | twitter.com/OHSAASports | facebook.com/OHSAA
For Immediate Release- April 26, 2018
Contact – Tim Stried, OHSAA Director of Communications, [email protected]
Dayton Public Schools and OHSAA Announce Closure to Dunbar Basketball Incident
New evidence leads DPS and OHSAA to same conclusion in aftermath of court case

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Dayton Public Schools superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Lolli and Ohio High School Athletic Association Executive Director Dr. Dan Ross have announced closure to the case Involving Dunbar High School boys’ basketball during the 2017-18 season.

In March, Dayton Public Schools filed a lawsuit to block the OHSAA’s decision to remove Dunbar from the boys’ basketball tournament for using an ineligible player, which stemmed from Dunbar not suspending junior varsity players who left the bench during a fight in January. The issue was whether one player, who later participated in a varsity tournament game, left the bench during the fight. The court sided with Dayton Public Schools, stating: “In reviewing the record upon which OHSAA based its decision, the Court finds that OHSAA’s decision is not supported by reliable, probative and substantial evidence.” The court further found “thus, as Coach Taylor testified, John Doe was already in the locker room hallway before the fight broke out.” However, after the Court’s ruling, new evidence came to light, showing that the student-athlete left the bench and went into the fight.

DAYTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS STATEMENT

“I would like to thank Dr. Ross and the OHSAA for working with us to find the truth in this situation ,” Lolli said. “It is concerning that individuals with information about the incident did not feel comfortable coming forward before the court hearing. We owe an apology to Bishop Fenwick High School, Thurgood Marshall High School and the OHSAA, We have taken corrective measures to address the situation. We appreciate the OHSAA’s cooperation and compassion during this situation. We know that removal of Dayton Public Schools’ membership In the OHSAA was an option.”‘

OHSAA STATEMENT

“I was a superintendent for a long time, so I understand what Dr. Lolli has been going through with this,” Ross said. “Our staff was convinced by the evidence we had in making our original decision that the youngster came off the bench when the fight broke out. Once new evidence was obtained and shared with Dr. Lolli, she immediately knew that It was a very serious matter and wanted to work with the OHSAA to make the needed corrections. It has been a pleasure working with her and we trust that nothing like this will happen again at Dayton Public Schools.”

DAYTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS ACTION

Dayton Public Schools began reviewing athletic department structure and procedures immediately after this Incident occurred. The District is in the process of making decisions about the athletic department and will be implementing changes over the next several weeks. Dr. Ross has been kept apprised of these discussions. DPS is committed to making certain that its coaches and administrators know and follow OHSAA rules, properly investigate incidents, and impose appropriate consequences for rule violations.

OHSAA SANCTIONS

In addition, the OHSAA has handed down the following sanctions. Dunbar will not be permitted to participate in the 2019 boys’ basketball tournament  and Dayton Public Schools will reimburse the OHSAA’s court costs, fees and expenses related to the March hearing. In addition, the OHSAA has extended the current probation period that all Dayton Public Schools are currently serving from a football incident in 2016. That probation Is now extended through June 2020 for all DPS schools and through 2022 for Dunbar.

“For the last month, this has been an effort from both sides working together – the OHSAA and Dayton Public Schools,” Ross said. “I commend Dr. Lolli for working hard to do the right thing here and get to the truth. She cares deeply for Dayton Public Schools and understands how important this is for DPS moving forward .”

###OHSAA###

Tim Stried
Director of Communications
Ohio High School Athletic Association
614-267-2502
[email protected]
www .OHSAA.org
www.Twitter.com/OHSAASports
www.Facebook.com/OHSAA
614·267-1677 fax
4080 Roselea Place
Columbus, OH 43214

School board fails to properly post Lolli contract 48 hours in advance

The 2nd worst district in the State fails publishing agenda 101 with the inability to post the contract for public review 48 hours in advance of the meeting. All other documents are properly linked and openable.

This rush to hire Lolli, with an announcement on Friday Mar, 16, 2018 at 5pm instead of after coming out of the legal executive session on Tuesday Mar 13, 2018, smacks of a protective move to Lolli for giving testimony on Thursday Mar 15, 2018 in my lawsuit trying to force compliance with the Open Meetings law- on the issues of school closing.

This is yet another example of failure to follow and comply with the law, and a reckless disregard for the people of Dayton, and why the board should be removed from office.

UPDATE

right after I posted this- I realized I didn’t show that all the other links worked. So here is a longer video, with the rest of the agenda items clicked on- and opening.

School board rushing school closing decision and discussion

To throw more confusion onto the mess that Sheila Burton and Libby Lolli started in December with their school closing imperative- the board is going to hear the public at the review session this Tuesday at 5pm:

“Tonight’s agenda allows time for the Board to hear public input on the district’s plan to right-size our buildings. This is the only topic the public may speak on tonight. If you wish to speak, please approach the podium and sign in. You will be allowed three minutes to make your comments.

Those wishing to address the Board on any topic other than right-sizing the buildings may do so at the next Business Meeting, Tuesday, March 20.”

Of course, normally to discuss the issue- the public and the board would be provided with the “Superintendent Recommendation for Rightsizing District” first- but, no, no slide deck, no analysis. Pop it up just before- ask for input at this meeting- and vote on it the next week.

This is not how a professional organization does it.

Of course, they are in total denial about their breaking of the Sunshine Laws on this issue- which I warned them about and filed a lawsuit. On Friday, the judge set a court date of July 11, 2018. He promised a ruling on if he would block them from taking action on closing until the resolution of this lawsuit by Monday, March 19.

In other news from circus central- Acting Superintendent Libby Lolli is poised to hire Carolyn Mack, wife of former Superintendent Percy Mack, away from her former district, Middletown, as the new head of Professional Development- at $116,000. Didn’t we learn from Rhonda Corr about hiring former “teammates” already? Corr hired Markay Winston, who later ended up ending Corr’s career here.

Considering Lolli has managed to escape any responsibility for the Dunbar basketball fiasco- and the fact that firing LaMark Baker is going to be complicated by failures to properly document all his mistakes under her and Marsha Bonharts watch- sets up the board to rush to give Lolli a contract that they will later regret- the same way the last board renewed Corr’s contract prematurely.

In other news- assistant treasurer Brennon “time clock” Hattery, has resigned, leaving an already rickety treasurers office even more short staffed.

Word is there are a lot of people being looked at for termination, non-renewal, yet, the one senior staff person who seems to survive crisis after crisis- remains like a cockroach after a nuclear Armageddon.

At this point 3 principals are on the chopping block and a top level administrator is planning on leaving the district after just a few years to go back to where he came from.

The scenario isn’t good, and the interim Superintendent seems incapable of stopping the non-stop flow of bad news and trauma to a district that is already wounded.

This board is still in its infancy. It will be amazing if it learns to walk before the State steps in and says enough is enough.

thumbnail of Resolution-School Shootings

Board resolution to be read on the 20th. Click to read PDF

And, as if school closing isn’t enough- they are planning on adopting a resolution on school shootings calling for banning assault weapons. Just to bring out a whole other group of citizens to cause confusion on the 20th.

One last prediction: OHSAA will throw Dunbar out of high school sports, as they can’t keep putting resources into trying to police those who refuse to follow the rules. The district will try their hands at the courts again- and the entire district will find itself out of High School athletics.

Please prove me wrong on this.

 

 

Dayton Public Schools still out of control under the carpetbagger interim Superintendent

Rome Burns- a metaphor for DPS under this board and Dr. Lolli. From Mr. Ripley on Deviant art

There is a reason the DPS superintendent usually lives in the District. The operation runs on an 18 hour a day schedule, from opening the transportation department to the closing of the gym after a basketball game. There is the possibility that the current interim superintendent is first reading about the following events here, because she wasn’t at the Dunbar game on Friday night, which is where she should have been after the Dunbar/Thurgood game a few weeks ago. Instead, she was probably at home in Middletown prepping for her board retreat on Saturday morning.

Today, I was going to write a nice story about an amazing event hosted by two DPS employees and their students last night. Instead, I’m going to explain why this school board needs to pull their collective asses out of the fire by fixing past wrongs. This district can’t survive the current level of incompetence.

So far, the first actions of the new board have been to allow a semi-secret task force to take over their responsibility for running the district. There was no official vote taken to empower this task force or to appoint the three board members to it- or to give the superintendent, treasurer etc authority to work on it.

Closing buildings next year for efficiency is not job number 1. It’s not even job number 2 or 3 or 4. But, they wouldn’t know that. If they actually knew anything about the district- or had a superintendent that did, they would clearly know that job number 1 right now- is student safety, to include orderly buildings where education can take place. Number 2 is instilling confidence back in the community that DPS can actually teach. Not just “Drill and kill” on the computers to a goal of improving test scores- but to teach. Make kids interested in learning and going to school and achieving.

That isn’t happening.

I didn’t write about it when there was a stands clearing brawl on January 10th at Dunbar High School when Thurgood came to play basketball. I have video. Facebook has video. It was a mess. Board members didn’t know, didn’t demand action, and haven’t investigated it even after being told. #FAIL

I was chastised on Facebook for not writing about the group hug the two varsity teams had before their game after the brawl (there was the JV game first- and that’s when the brawl happened). If you want to read good news puff stories- you can either watch the 20 minute videos Marsha Bonhart is making for the district- and being well paid, or read the occasional article in the Dayton Day-Old news.

Friday night, DPS reached a new low. After a Dunbar player committed 2 turnovers in 20 seconds according to multiple reports- the rookie coach, Chuck Taylor pulled him out. The players mother decided to come down and tell the coach what she thought. Taylor called the woman a bitch. The player got up and punched Chuckie in the face twice.

This, folks, is not how you run a basketball program.

If former coach Pete Pullen had pulled a player for committing two turnovers, the parent wouldn’t have dared to question his actions. The last board, approved the non-renewal of Pete Pullen and the hiring of Chuck. By the way- the candidate pool for the job- was just Chuck or Pete- because no one else would apply – because Pete Pullen is a coaching legend with a long list of championships- Chuck is a Bailiff for a local judge who sucks at the political teat of the Democratic party and hands out $10,000 bails on homeless people.

Still, choosing between Pete and Chuck should have been a no-brainer, except that’s the problem- the District AD is a no-brained former pro-basketball player who can’t figure out a players eligibility and brought shame to this district at the center of the thrown game between Dunbar and Belmont in 2016. He was also given a two-year contract by the former Superintendent (still not fired) and the former board- despite the investigation into the thrown game being incomplete at the time.

As the board has an emergency meeting on Tuesday to go into executive session, we could hope the following transpires:

  • Rhonda Corr is terminated.
  • District AD Mark Baker is terminated.
  • Chuck Taylor is terminated and Pete Pullen returned to coach the remainder of the Dunbar season.
  • The board opens a search for a new superintendent.

The task force is disbanded and DPS board announces that they are closing Valerie elementary, selling off HQ and the building across the street, closing Longfellow at Jackson Center, and beginning a planning process to institute a consistent alignment of schools (grades served), bell times, and transportation options for the coming school year that is focused on reducing transportation costs, improving building utilization and aligning resources properly. They also announce a downsizing of administrative staff, including the firing of their expensive PR department that still doesn’t know how to update a website in a timely manner without help (the upcoming meeting isn’t listed on the meeting schedule). Yet, one has to wonder when at the Board Retreat yesterday, the agenda included documents that still listed responsibilities that were assigned to Corr, Winston and even Jill Moberley.

There has still been no investigation and punishment for anyone other than the two teachers who actively tried to stop the riot at Ponitz (the story broke on this blog). No students were held accountable, no building administrators punished, and no questions asked on why the district was willing to let another incredible asset leave the district (Football coach Jim Place resigned).

Competent leadership from the board and superintendent wouldn’t be distracted by building use efficiency while the buildings are on fire.

It’s time for a shakeup.

And, last but not least, thanks to YouTube changing their monetization rules, I need to get the youtube channel up to 1000 subscribers to be able to help support the costs of producing video for this blog. Please go to www.youtube.com/c/electesrati and subscribe. It doesn’t cost anything. We had 100 subscribers on Thursday, we’re up to almost double that in two days, but if you want me to keep going to task force meetings and shutting them down, we need 1000 subscribers asap. Thank you.