Mon August 25, 2014
School board examines consultant costs
Buffalo schools spend millions and millions of dollars each year on consultants. Now, school board members are raising sharp questions about their value.
"Can't we at some point say: Wait, stop. What are we doing? How much money are we spending? And, what are the real needs of these kids?," asked Board Member Larry Quinn during a recent discussion on the district's many consultant contracts.
Board Member Carl Paladino estimates the school system spent $25 million last year on an array of grant programs.
The debate during the most recent board meeting left both sides of the often-feuding board factions united that the present system isn't functioning since it's not clear whether the grants are working since there don't seem to be solid goals.
Board Member Theresa Harris-Tigg was a city school teacher before shifting to teach at Buffalo State. Harris Tigg ridiculed the goal on one grant.
Even Interim Superintendent Donald Ogilvie says there will be changes.
Mary Pauly, assistant superintendent for curriculum, assessment and leadership, says staff members have been meeting for several weeks to discuss clearer goals.
Board members have complained for years that the paperwork isn't clear and that backup documentation is vague or non-existent.