Earlier this week, I blogged about a $40,000 contract with hip hop artist Bryonn Bain (read down to the end of the post). The contract was passed, 4 votes to 2, despite some nagging questions about the efficacy of the program. Now, I’ve heard that the well-respected administrator for the Court and County schools, where this program is supposed to be housed (at least as described in the contract passed by the Board), has said that he does not want the program at the schools he supervises. How is it possible that the Central Office and the Board can (or would want to) impose a $40,000 ‘arts’ program on a school over and above that school administrator’s objection? And in this budget climate?
I have asked senior staff to investigate this situation further and have suggested we hold off committing ourselves to this contract, even though a majority of the Board has authorized the expenditure. Again, everyone agrees that our students in our court and county schools are our most underserved, so this debate is not about taking resources away from the students that most need them–instead, it’s a debate about which resources are most aligned with our strategic goals.