Sunday, August 19, 2012

Hell's Kitchen, 53590

We've got our own quasi-Olympic logo going, complete with flames.
The school board is going to have their hands full juggling all these frying pans.
Someone(s) may wind up grilled and charred before the smoke clears on these issues.
Memo to board members Whalen and Diedrich:  THIS is what happens when you're asleep at the switch armed only with a rubber stamp.

Who's in charge of this zoo?  Tim Culver likes to say that he's accountable.  But all this has either happened or festered under his watch.  Perhaps instead of spending so much time pushing for trips to China and full-immersion language (sssh...Mandarin Chinese) programs, he needs to do a little housework.  There are a couple of closets beginning to smell ripe.  Should it be the school board's job to police this stuff?  NO!  But sadly, Mr. Whalen, you never took any action regarding the inaction, so now it's a whole lot messier.

So that we're all on the same page, let's re-cap what we've learned over the summer so that you can see why we believe it's hotter than Hell's Kitchen here at SPASD:

2 fields x 13 hrs/day x 67 days is TOO MUCH!
Policy KG (Field Use Rental)
Thanks to school board Veep John Welke's attention to detail and investigative prowess, the public learned that the high school softball fields had been reserved ALL SUMMER LONG from 7:30 am to 8:00 PM.  Talk about a monopoly.

Um...who's paying for the exclusive use of those fields?  Sure the SP Little League ponied up $75,000 initially, but how far does that go?
The cost of reserving the varsity softball field for 67 days at $300/day (12 hrs/day x $25/hr)= $20,100.
Add in the JV field and that comes to $40,200 JUST for the summer of 2012.

Shouldn't SOMEONE be
saying "Nay, Nay"?
We didn't receive a dime. Who's watching this?  Who would have allowed one "renter" to reserve two complete fields for 12 hours or more EVERY day for 67 days this summer????  We're think that SOMEONE with some common sense should have said, "Nay, Nay".

 AD McClowry
The whole hockey fee fiasco hasn't settled completely yet.  Add to that the fact that Mr. McClowry not only personally reserves fields for his own use (for which we could not locate a record of payment), but he's theoretically in charge (to some extent) of all these athletics/activities listed here AND Title IX compliance.  So we think he's got s spot reserved in the center frying pan.

 Athletic “camps”
We also heard publicly this week that a large volume of athletic camps use SPASD fields and facilities, yet we haven't found the deposits we should see for the cost of using these facilities.

Another doubled edged sword here.  We appreciate the value of these camps and the dedication of the coaches.  But at the same time, all evidence points to the fact that fees charged for these camps are paid directly to the coaches.  It's great extra income for the coaches, but where is the taxpayers' share?  We ALL paid for these fields and facilities, and we look forward to revenue generated to help defray the cost of upkeep.  Oh yeah....and according to district policy KG, Procedure KG-R, and exhibit KG-E, they should be paying for the use of these fields.

Sure, it lightens the wad of bills in their pockets, but at the end of the day, those fields and facilities were not built for the purpose of generating personal income for anyone.

 Title IX
We haven't even begun to explore this one, but it is a major issue.  Again, kudos to Veep John Welke for taking the time to ask the question (although many may have missed it). There are a lot of aspects to Title IX compliance.  Are we confident that our school district administration (gulp) has been paying attention to the information below?  Based on the quality of information and level of detail we've seen to date, we're at little concerned that this may be another weakness.

Compliance is determined as follows:
The Policy Interpretation sets forth a three-part test: 1) whether the number of male and female students participating in athletics is “substantially proportionate” to their respective enrollments, or 2) if not, whether the school district can demonstrate a history and continuing expansion of the athletic program in response to the interest and abilities of the “underrepresented” gender; or 3) if the district cannot establish either of the first two circumstances, whether it can demonstrate that the interests and abilities of the underrepresented gender have been “fully and effectively accommodated.”

Title IX: Athletic financing

It is also important to remember that contributions from private entities such as booster clubs are considered public money once they are accepted. Therefore, if a booster club provides benefits or services that assist only a team or teams of one gender, the district is obliged to ensure that teams of the other gender receive equivalent benefits and services, even if that means a reallocation of the district’s budget.

The Sound of Sun Prairie (SOSP)
 This one we posted....but we don't want to lose sight of the issue.  Love that Sound....but loving it would be  a little easier if we were certain that all the i's have been properly dotted and t's properly crossed.