Friday, October 23, 2015

Globe report: Proposal would put Bright Futures Joplin under not-for-profit

The Joplin Globe is reporting that the proposal that will be brought to the Joplin R-8 Board of Education Tuesday night calls for Bright Futures to be operated by an outside not-for-profit (not Bright Futures USA), which will reimburse the school district for the salaries of Coordinator Melissa Winston and another employee.

The system would be similar to one that is used in the El Dorado Springs school district, according to the article.

This would take it out from under the guidance of the Board of Education. It would be preferable to go the route of Webb City, East Newton, and McDonald County and cut all ties to the name Bright Futures, since in Joplin at least, that name is automatically associated with former Superintendent C. J. Huff. and that association will remain toxic for years to come.


Anonymous said...

After reading the globe article, it is apparent Bright Futures just doesn't want to be under the direction of the school district. They don't want any one telling them what they can and can't do so they can do things their own way. But they are trying to fool the board and the public by saying the opposite - we want to be more transparent! Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it the purpose of Bright Futures to provide for the needs of students so they can do better in school and have the teachers who are aware of their student needs bring those requests forward? If that is the case, then I don't see how this can be accomplished with an outside agency in control. The school board should keep control of it, but sever its ties with bright futures and CJ Huff. It's time for the school district to rid itself f CJ once and for all so the district can heal and move forward!

Anonymous said...

That does not make a lot of sense. The third party agency would reimburse the school for the employee's salaries??? To whom would they be accountable?

Unless this is an attempt to let the program whither on the vine...

Really? said...

There should be no reimbursement. BF should pay their own way period.....without "borrowed" money from the taxpayers.

If there is truly a need that has eluded the giant government safety net and the many secular and religious non-profits, then the district can decide to set aside resources which it controls to meet those needs as they arise.

What we have now is a self preserving animal (BF) constantly looking for (and often fabricating) justification for its existence.

As one post put it: 'we don't need to outsource our compassion for OUR kids!'

Anonymous said...

The same question comes to mind after reading every explanation of how R8 and BF are connected. If Barr says BF funds have been a line item in the district's budget, how could it NOT be covered by the state audit?
As someone previously expressed, teachers and counselors do not need to "outsource compassion." Nor do they need an organization siphoning funds intended to help children and families to support high salaries and unnecessary consulting fees.
Who benefits from this? $85K + $30K = Shoes, coats, supplies for MANY ...

Anonymous said...

I can understand the need in the school system for someone to coordinate connecting students in need with the many charitable non-profits in the area-- some ONE person. Constructing a parallel system like Bright Futures, with extra administrative costs, never made sense. And is this intended to make it look like BF's idea, rather than Dr. Ridder's decision to boot them out of Joplin R-8?!?

And I agree with 7:58--how did this escape the audit?

Anonymous said...

As the proposal is explained, and not explained, in the Globe article, it raises a lot of questions. How can Winston or any other director of Bright Futures/Joplin be a district employee with an outside agency paying her salary? Who would have the authority to define her duties, supervise her work, and review her performance? To raise or reduce her salary or to replace her for poor performance? Would the district be liable if she violated the law in performing her job?

There's also the issue of confidentiality in regard to identifying individual students and gathering and releasing personal information about them and their parents. Schools are required by law to protect students' privacy. Under this proposal, it appears that the district would be sharing confidential information with those who have no legal right to it.

Bright Futures/Joplin has to be one of two things--a district program administered by the R-VIII and supervised by the school board or a community resource with no ties to the district to which parents can apply for assistance. Teachers, principals, and guidance counselors could direct parents to Bright Futures/Joplin, just as they make parents aware of other community organizations that offer assistance.

I hope members of the board ask these questions and many more when they consider this proposal. Another question to ask: If the district wants to provide a link between students and those in the community who would like to help them, how can that be done in a better and less expensive way that doesn't maintain another layer of administrative bureaucracy?

Anonymous said...

Paving the way for Care to Learn to replace Bright Futures...

Not the educational rheeform Jolin needs said...

As the proposal is explained, and not explained, in the Globe article, it raises a lot of questions. How can Winston or any other director of Bright Futures/Joplin be a district employee with an outside agency paying her salary? Who would have the authority to define her duties, supervise her work, and review her performance? To raise or reduce her salary or to replace her for poor performance? Would the district be liable if she violated the law in performing her job?

This is a bad idea. You are either working for and beholden to the district and it's taxpayers, or you are not. Here is a story about what it looks like when the "public employees that really aren't" go wrong.

Who's Funding Kevin Johnson's Secret Government?

"Ballard Spahr’s filing also, though, exposes a strange and secretive aspect of Johnson’s administration: Lots of folks who used Sacramento city government titles and worked out of City Hall while doing Johnson’s dirty work in the NCBM fiasco were in fact not employed by the city government. They were instead charter school advocates, funded by charter school ideologues, who kept their true allegiances and mission hidden.

For example: Stephanie Mash identified herself as “Stephanie Mash, Director of Governmental Affairs for African Americans for Mayor Kevin Johnson” and “Stephanie Mash, Esq., Office of Mayor Kevin M. Johnson City of Sacramento.” But Ballard Spahr’s filing indicates that she was never actually an employee for the city; instead, while helping plan and execute the NCBM coup, Mash was employed by Stand Up, a non-profit charter school advocacy firm founded by Johnson. Mash’s online resume makes no mention that she ever worked for Stand Up."

Just so it's clear just how egregious this all is:

Who pays for Johnson’s fakes?

With private operatives working out of City Hall and masquerading as public employees, the question is who’s bankrolling them—and the rest of the mayor’s off-the-reservation missions. It’s not hard to answer. Consider that since his 2008 election, Johnson has requested and received millions of dollars for Stand Up, the group that employed the fake civil servants, from the Walton Family Foundation, a conservative grant-giver backed by the founders of Wal-Mart and known for being hell-bent on spreading its pro-charter school gospel. Between 2012 and 2014, while he was planning and executing his NCBM coup, Johnson reported at least six grants from that foundation totaling $1.625 million.

Draw your own conclusions a to why an organization like Bright Futures Joplin might think this was a good idea.

Anonymous said...

From the Globe article:

"Officials with the Webb City affiliate, which has rebranded itself Webb City CARES, previously told the Globe that their termination with Bright Futures centered on concerns about the board’s recent hiring of an at a cost of $30,000 for a six-month term."

So the Globe doesn't know who the "independent consultant at a cost of $30,000 for a six-month term" is?

Or possibly the Globe knows who that "independent consultant at a cost of $30,000 for a six-month term" is, and omitted his or her name for some reason?

That isn't burying the lede, it is burying the main idea.

Anonymous said...

Funny that neither Huff nor Winston has addressed this issue on their blogs. Huff has bragging posts about all the wonders he did for Joplin, and Winston has nothing but her usual self-righteous palaver. I would guess that the wheels were spinning about how to foist the money given to Joplin Schools for Joplin students, via Bright Futures, along with the record books of previous spending. I personally, along with every person I know, want the whole thing, along with any other programs and people brought in by the Huff administration, kicked to the curb. Time to start fresh. Obviously, looking at the APR for Joplin, Bright Futures has NOT created the miraculous results that they claim it has. All lies. All the time. Time to end this fallacy by severing all ties to Bright Futures.

Anonymous said...

I bet losing state funding and the threat of the district severing ties has a couple of those people, unnamed by the Globe, of course, in a sweat. One of them might have to actually work for a living instead of siphoning off the work of others. I bet the speech money is dwindling these days, too. Maybe there will be a day when none of these people will live in our community anymore. We can hope. Their welcome is definitely worn out.

Anonymous said...

They are all heading to Sugarland Texas to set up their tents for the dog and pony show along with the wagons full of snake oil to cure whatever ails ya.

Anonymous said...

Isn't there a rusty trombone factory in Sugarland? Maybe they are hiring?