This came in from Dan Wever:
When the EPISD Trustees have their Board Meetings the Agenda usually includes a “Consent Agenda.” This Consent agenda has items in it that many times the President of the Board and Superintendent who together make up the Board packet, put items that they do not really want to be brought before the public and discussed. Of course, any Trustee can ask that an item be removed from the Consent Agenda and placed on the regular agenda and discussed. At the April 18th Board meeting, a motion was made to approve the Consent Agenda as written and passed unanimously. This Consent Agenda had a few things in it that I believe the public would have had a great interest in and many questions should have been asked. Let me address the first one.
Purchases Requiring Board Approval
1. Purchase Appleton Summer Labs Learning Program Utilizing ESC Region 19 Allied States Cooperative Contract RFP #16-7200, Consulting, Staff Development and Related – (Budgeted State, Local and Federal Funds – $1,512,000.00)
(Summer Labs functions as a true extension of the school year by engaging students in a variety of educational experiences: application, reinforcement, and extension of skills and concepts taught during the school year; hands-on investigation of STEAM [Science, Technology, Engineering Arts, and Math] concepts; and the development of students’ communication, problem-solving, and teamwork skills)
Information of what this company (Appleton Learning) is going to do below.
Information on Bid and Appleton Learning Summer Lab Program in EPISD material below.
You will need to check out these two links as there is just too much information for me to put it all in this post. If we just limit our looking at information that was and is available on the EPISD website and was available in the board packet that all the trustees have at board meetings See if any of this information would have caused you to ask more questions if you had been aware of this Request for Proposal.
I was impressed that during this Summer Labs program “Students become experts on the theme of each week-long STEAM module as they deepen their knowledge through inquiry-based learning and interactive experimentation.” The Backup says that the Program operation timeline is from July 17-28, 2017. I hope we did not pay 1.5 million dollars for 11 days! Prior to this 11-day timeline, Appleton will set up and configure the childcare management software, which includes setting up all user accounts for program management staff and register students for student learning. Appleton will also MARKET their Summer School program to Students and their parents. ARE PARENTS AND STUDENTS BEING CHARGED TO GO TO THESE SCHOOLS? Appleton will hire and train EPISD teachers and other personnel on program management and implementation. The proposed costs of this Summer Labs Program is listed as follows. Notice the Administrative fees are 66% of what the Labor costs are supposed to be.
In the material presented in the EPISD board material by Appleton Learning, there are two options given. One of them pays teachers $35 per hour and the other which the figures below represent and were printed in the acceptance material show the teachers being paid $12 an hour.
Labor costs—————— —– $706,505.66
Administrative fees————- $467,586.72
Profits —————————— $151,200.00
Field Trips ————— ———- $58,800.00
Materials and Curriculum —– $124,980.00
Marketing——————— —— $2,927.60
Just the information that was available during and before the EPISD board meeting should have raised enough questions to have a special board meeting, but not a question was asked by this RUBBER STAMP BOARD.
This whole deal looks more like a childcare exercise that anything to help our struggling students in summer school.
As you get away from the information available on EPISD web and go to Appleton Learning web and look at their programs you will find their Summer Labs program and it has many things that would be offensive to El Paso parents.
Example: If students are picked-up from Summer Labs after 12:15 PM (for students enrolled in the half-day morning program) and 6:00 PM (for students enrolled in the full day and half-day afternoon programs), then a late pick-up fee will be added to the account balance. At 12:16 PM and 6:01 PM, a $10 late pick-up fee will be added to the account balance. For every minute after 12:16 PM and 6:01 PM, an additional $1 late pick-up fee will be added to the account balance.
Also, this company handles all payroll and benefits of any employees
So, in conclusion, we are turning over 14 of our schools to a private company that has sold 6 franchises in Houston Texas and are paying them 1.5 million dollars to teach x number of students in their summer school program.
Is this why our board policies on school use were all changed recently to accommodate this company?
I think some questions should have been asked by Trustees!