There’s no doubt that the district has problems that should have been corrected since the last Grand Jury in 2002, but there are too many things in the current report that just don’t wash.

Readers of Watching Broward will know most of what I’m about to publish, but let’s recap for the benefit of the State Department of Education.

There’s no question that some members of district staff lied to the Grand Jury.

Sometimes outright lies, sometimes lies of omission.

Staff lied to the Grand Jury about the Ten Year Master Plan.  They told the jury that the Board didn’t want to hear the results and that the consultant’s projection was “much closer to the mark.”
That claim is absolutely ludicrous..

Staff “forgot” to tell the Grand Jury that the Board’s analysis was closer to the mark for the first two years until the bottom fell out.  The graphs are here.  Had the Grand Jury read the Master Plan they would have known this.

Nobody predicted the bottom falling out.  Nobody.

Staff “forgot” to tell the Grand Jury that the consultant predicted anincrease in student population, not a decrease or leveling off as the report would have the reader believe.  Had the Grand Jury actually read the Plan, they would have known this.

Staff also “forgot” to tell the Grand Jury that the consultant never completed the contract deliverables.  Cities were complaining that they hadn’t been consulted when the report came out.  The consultant failed to collect much of the pertinent data they would need to formulate the plan they were paid for.   Had the Grand Jury interviewed any of the sitting Board members at the time, they would have known this.

Staff also gave the Grand Jury erroneous report dates for the Master Plan.

They told the Jury that the report covered 2003 – 2012.

The report was first delivered in April 2003 and covered the ten year period 2005 – 2014.  Had the Grand Jury actually read the Plan, they would have known this, too.

Staff lied about Board members making deals with their favored lobbyists and contractors for construction of unnecessary schools and classroom additions.
Staff sure as hell “forgot” to mention that some of their own friends and co-workers were being hired away from the district for jobs with builders.

And they “forgot” to tell the Jury about the pre-loaded the voting ballots that favored specific builders.

They also “forgot” to report the buzz around School Board headquarters naming the bid winner before the vote meeting was held.

Staff lied to the Grand Jury about the unneeded construction in the district.
Staff “forgot” to tell the Grand Jury about the steep rise in student population between 1992 and 2005, partially noted in the 2002 Grand Jury report.  Had the Grand Jury actually read the 2002 report, they would have known this.

They “forgot” to tell this Grand Jury about the 2002 Grand Jury report directing the Board to build new schools and classrooms on the west side of the county.  Had the Grand Jury actually read the 2002 report, they would have known this.

Staff “forgot” to mention the Class Size amendment, the legislature’s failure to adequately fund district construction needs, and the state mandated fines for not meeting the requirements.  Had the Grand Jury read the amendment, examined state appropriations to school districts, along with district by district compliance, they would have known this.

Staff also lied about the “empty seats” in the district,
Staff “forgot” to tell the Grand Jury that the more than half of those empty seats were in moldy, too expensive to repair portables that had been taken out of service and replaced by the “unnecessary”classroom constuction.  Had the Grand Jury read the 2002 report in the section dealing with mold and mildew, they would have known why those portables were replaced.
Staff lied to the Grand Jury about gifts and led them down the wrong path of applicable law. Had the Grand Jury actually had somebody testify as to the applicable law, or read it, they would have known this.
To their credit, staff actually did acknowledge the back biting and incompetence, but I’ll guess they’re pushing off the incompetence on their managers, which is at least somewhat true.

But I have to wonder what other lies were told to the Grand Jury.

I guess I’ll just have to do more reading.

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