Once again the Editorial Board of the Idaho Statesman does what is best for them and not the people who keep them in business. Creating more controversy about how the new West Ada School Board of Trustees dealt with Supt. Clark is the Statesman’s way of fanning the fire that they started to sell more newspapers. The new Board was duly elected by the public for a reason. It doesn’t matter what the reason was, we have a new Board, and they are trying to do the best job they can under immeasurable outside pressures from the former board members, Dr. Clark and the establishment media. The Ada West school district has an annual budget of over $400 million which in this state is big business. Let’s face it folks, education is big business, and we all know from past history that many times our tax money goes to places it really shouldn’t. Everyone remembers the Wi-Fi Idaho Education Network scandal which has cost Idahoans $40 million to date, and the $61.5 million wasted on School Net data system. I for one could not be happier having new members on our School Board who are actually trying to present transparency and accountability to our district. At the last meeting it was announced that the districts administrators’ contracts for the past two years had finally been posted on the internet. This was because of the hard work of the new members, because the old members allowed the publishing of these contracts to lapse for the past 2 years.
I believe that all of this brouhaha from the past board members is because they lost their power to control $400 million in tax money to be handed out for various education contracts during the year. It is also interesting that Senator Winder has taken such a sharp interest in this recall. Is this all about our children’s education, or is it about power and money? We all know that this state is full of cronyism, and when we get some honest people elected the cronies will scream foul until the cows come home because they have lost control. This recall is not about Dr. Clark’s contract although it was a wee bit full of pork, it is because the new board is operating and functioning in a diligent and transparent manner and doing their homework when it comes to making sure that our tax dollars are spent wisely. The West Ada School District since this new board has been elected has brought the district into full compliance with State rules on transparency. This is something we didn’t see under the old board, and one has to ask the question why? Did they prefer to keep the public in the dark?
Why has everything in the liberal media been about what Dr. Clark has to say? It’s because they don’t want the public to know the truth about Dr. Clark’s resignation. In an article by the Meridian Press Tina Dean Chairwomen for the West Ada Board, spoke out how the former Superintendent lied when she claimed she was offered a few thousand dollars severance pay. The truth be known Dr. Clark’s attorney offered a resolution of claims by Dr. Clark to leave her position in exchange for payment of her contract through 2018. This of course was unacceptable to the board’ and they countered with an offer of $56,000 for Clark to go away quietly. Clark argued that the $56,000 number was a mere pittance and refused the offer. Legal council’s review of Clark’s contracts from 2013 through 2015 revealed that these contracts were void in whole or in part because they had not been approved by the Superintendent of Public Instruction. The new Board has acted appropriately and in good faith by offering Dr. Clark a $56,000 severance package, and we must wonder after Clark’s dismissal of the offer being a mere pittance if it was always about the money and the power instead of about the children.
It might be wise for the liberal media to do a bit of real investigative reporting before they get Bill Roberts to write another hit piece on these new board members. How about looking into any potential conflict of interests that Supt. Clark may have with school district contractors. Does she serve on the boards of any of the companies doing business with the school district? If she does, are those paid positions? Maybe they should check to see if there was any conflict with former school board members and companies they were awarding contracts to. Even more important, why hasn’t anyone beside the new Board questioned the $4.5 million overrun on the new school being built in Meridian?
This new Board was duly elected by the public and should be given their support and the benefit of any doubt about Dr. Clark’s contract negotiations. They are working to save our taxpayer dollars so they can be utilized for the benefit of our children not the administrators of our school system. Our teachers are underpaid and spend endless dollars of their own money on supplies for their classrooms. It’s time that we elected a board who is going to pay attention to the business of educating our children and allocating our tax dollars in an appropriate manner?