Strategic Plan to cost $100K

On December 14th, 2010, GPS school board approved $100K for an outside vendor “Hein Sight Before the Fact!!!” to assist in the development of a strategic plan.  Contract details are available from the district office.  District officials are precluded from sharing all details of discussion due to non-disclosure agreements protecting the vendor’s intellectual property rights.  However, all other aspects of the contract, the RFP, details provided by the vendor that are not labeled as proprietary property are freely available.

In November, board member Helen Hollands asked some very specific and probing questions of fellow board member Adelaide Severson and Superintendent Dave Allison who sat on the committee formed for this very purpose.  Because details available to all board members prior to making this decision were very light, Hollands asked to see a copy of the RFP and proof of due diligence on the part of the administration in vetting an appropriate vendor for the work to be done.

Of 8 vendors who were sent the RFP, only one responded.  EJ Anderson also expressed a concern that efforts by any vendor must ensure a concerted effort to include direction from the school board members and skepticism about the eventual outcome.  Will the plan simply be a document that nobody reads or pays much attention to?

From a public’s perspective, why did Dr. Allison indicate that the reason an outside vendor was needed to help devise a strategic plan was because the school administration didn’t have the time?  One must ask themselves, if the administration doesn’t have the time to discuss strategic direction, and if our superintendent is not capable of providing this kind of leadership, why are we paying them so much and what is their time being spent on?

Additionally, why is a lame duck school board making a decision in the very last open meeting to spend $100K on strategic direction?  2 board members will no longer be part of the strategic plan direction.  Perhaps this decision should have waited ’til January when all sitting board members who will be working together for the next 2 years have an opportunity to make this decision.

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