Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Fun ways the R-8 District is spending your taxpayer money

A few items that the Joplin R-8 Board of Education approved when it paid the district's bills during Tuesday night's meeting:

-$99,668.75 to the Northwest Evaluation Association for the testing regimen that Curriculum Director Sarah Stevens sold the board on at the April meeting. For the first time, kindergarten through second graders will receive practice standardized tests. It should be noted that the district used McGraw-Hill's series of Acuity practice tests for years with test scores going down each succeeding year.

-$10,362.74 to the PI Group, the electrical contracting firm the district is suing (and which is suing the district, claiming that it incurred nearly $7 million in costs because of Superintendent C. J. Huff's push to get Joplin High School opened in time for the 2014-2015 school year. In its lawsuit, the district claims the PI group is guilty of shoddy work, something it never mentioned in the back and forth communications before the lawsuit was filed.

-$3,685 to the Core Collaborative, part of more than $100,000 the district spent on Common Core consultant Paul Bloomberg's group, which spent a year telling teachers to make students responsible for their own work. This revelation, which teachers have been doing since day one, was enough to make Sarah Stevens, C. J. Huff, and Executive Director of Elementary Education Jennifer Doshier push for a second year at a cost of $103,000. Thankfully, the board rejected that request by a 3-2 vote, though Mike Landis and Lynda Banwart were willing to fork over the money, no questions asked.

-$2,909.77 to WAAV, Inc., for bus wi-fi

-$72 to Jon Tupper for staff "Grit" t-shirts

-$1,242.40 to Peregrine Corporation for shirts and sweatshirts

-$45 to the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce to pay Director of Community Development Whitney Warren's dues for the Young Professionals Network

-$280 for a table for the Joplin Regional Business Journal's 2015 Most Influential Business Women. One of the honorees was Communications Director Kelli Price. If you remember, the same amount was paid last fall when Men of Distinction were honored and one of those honored was C. J. Huff.

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