In a recent interview, Kevin Larsen stated that $150,000 is “. . . truly a drop in the saltshaker to us.”
Leading us to ask, where is this magic saltshaker? Maybe we could use this saltshaker to repair some of our schools.
But alas, no. The district has a better idea about how to use this saltshaker money–spend $85,000 on VIDEOS!
Apparently, the district “is in need of professional assistance in the area of video photography and editing . . . .” Surely we have talented high school students who could make high quality videos for our schools. MVHS has an award winning journalism department. HRHS has a website completely developed by their students. Our students are professional caliber. Videos of each school would be a great project for Project Based Learning. But, if not students, isn’t there someone in the communications department who can make videos?
Nah, not when there is a saltshaker of money!
The district decided to pay RelyLocal $85,000 to make videos to market schools. Part of the “choice” plan includes competing for students–so if schools are competing, they will need marketing.
Let’s face it. If the district wants the community to support their ridiculous reforms, they will need to put some money into it. Their webpage spells it out, “DCSD has expanded support and enthusiasm for reform.”
Below is “Exhibit A: Scope of Services” for the independent contractor. Please note that DCSD’s contract reads, “ . . . the approximately 80 Douglas County School District Schools?” Is DCSD unsure of how many schools it has?
The contractor for RelyLocal is Michael Harrity–who used to work for 9 News. Randy Barber, Internal Communications Officer for the DCSD Community Relations Department, also used to work for 9 News.
Perhaps a DCSD parent said it best, “maybe he (Kevin Larsen) needs to watch the sodium content of the BOE’s fiscal irresponsibly. We are quickly developing wasteful spending ‘heart disease’ and pet project ‘high blood pressure’ in DCSD schools!”
What’s wrong with spending $85,000 for marketing–businesses do it.
However, successful businesses spend money where it is needed the most to keep the business operating. Some might think DCSD should be spending money to decrease class size, increase curriculum time, perhaps lessen the burden on parents of paying for bus transportation for their children–not to make videos of schools, redesigning the Board Room (see the Boardroom upgrade RFP), or continuing the implementation of unproven reforms and “flavor of the week” initiatives.
Too bad the district continues to prove they can’t be trusted to show fiscal responsibility when spending the public’s money. But hey–there will be some super videos to watch, however they may just have to edit out the areas of our schools in need of critical repair.