Sunday, September 16, 2012

Getting Back To Diversity Issues

This one's been brewing on the back burner for a bit.  At the August 16, 2012 public hearing on the budget, there were some public comments related to the need for a more diverse staff.

We've heard rumblings that blame the school board for not investing in diversity.  Let us be clear, that the record reflects that the school board voted to authorize the district --Tim Culver-- to hire a diversity recruitment specialist.  Their only stipulation was that it had to be done within the existing budget.

The district declined, basically saying that "no new money means no diversity specialist".

What we DO find interesting is that if one looks through the DPI list of 2011-12 staff, one should notice that VERY QUIETLY the district hired back Nancy Everson, who retired at the end of 2010-11 school year.

She was apparently brought back as a "double-dipper" at a salary of $44,436 with benefits of an additional $17,593.  Ms. Everson retired at a salary of over $86,000.  That must make for a pretty nice pension.

Noun 1.  double dipper - someone who draws two incomes from the government (usually by combining a salary and a pension)
Now don't get us wrong.  Ms. Everson served an incredibly vital and valuable role as the district's link to businesses to provide learning opportunities for our students.  We're just wondering...couldn't some of those skills have been passed on to existing staff?  Cross-training?  And what's more important to the district?  We seem to recall diversity being a primary goal.  We didn't see business education on that list.

Instead of blaming the school board, we might suggest that people ask Dr. Culver why he opted to spend over $60,000 on the Business-Education Partnership program when he could have invested in a diversity recruitment specialist.

We'd like to hear that answer.