Culp again talks new school buildings, Watching the board group

Published March 29, 2016 by justicewg

Culp sideFor the second time in six months, Superintendant Culp wrote a “superintendent speaks” story in the TVN that reminded us that the board really, really , really wants to build new school buildings. The board is so focused on getting new buildings that I’m surprised that all of his stories are not about the facilities at the schools.

He again mentioned the K-12 Business Solutions report, and again was deceptive. That report was an accounting of the projected costs for all facilities at the school, including the 700 Thousand dollars that will be needed for the athletic facilities over the next ten years. Culp wrote “Through this extensive research, we learned the yearly costs to maintain and upgrade our current infrastructure and classrooms will continue to rise and are not going away.” No – the report looked at all of the facilities at the school, including athletics, vans, and snowplows. It didn’t focus on costs of classrooms. There is no way to cleanly break out costs for classrooms, or contrast those costs with replacement construction, from the data in the report.

Culp wrote, “Ensuring our students have access to a modern learning environment, similar to the environments they will encounter in today’s colleges and the work force, is vital to their success.” While this is true of the curriculum inside classrooms, and the technology, I’m having trouble understanding how the interior of a classroom affects students. Sure, they need roofs that don’t leak, and warm rooms in the winter (something that not all schools in our country can expect, to out national shame). Grandview has good classrooms, and the latest tech (all students have laptops). Is Culp saying that shiny new buildings are needed for student success?

Culp ends with “Please know that we are only in the assessment phase of our K-12 facilities planning process; thus, no plans or discussions about our facilities have yet taken place.” Right. No discussion – except the board was holding meetings in May 2015 in which they said, “80‐90 years ago the people of Grandview invested in school buildings and infrastructure; it’s our turn now.”, and “Feeling of MORAL IMPERATIVE to do something”. That wasn’t discussion? More deception from Culp.

Watching the board group

The school board is obviously focusing all of its effort on getting new school buildings built. They have empaneled a task force that is supposedly looking at “all the options”, but are probably really just looking at how to get the levies passed that will be needed for the new construction. I don’t know what that task force is doing though, I asked to attend meetings, but the board has banned public attendance at the task force meetings.

The board will no doubt be holding multiple board meetings to make further plans for their new buildings, and because they have as many or more special meetings in the morning that are attended by no parents or press, they might as well be private meeting too. They are required to record meeting notes, but the records for those special meeting are sometimes no more than a couple lines for hours of discussion.

I am not against progress, I don’t have any attachment to the old school buildings. I do have major problems when a public body intentionally deceives the public and uses fraud to waste the taxpayers money. I’m hoping there are others like me in Grandview Heights.

I’d like to form a group, call us “Watching the Grandview School Board”. Our task would be simply to attend board meetings, and record what is said (all board meetings are open to the public by law).

There are too many of these board meeting being held for me to attend them all by myself. If we could get a group together that can attend as many as possible, we can improve the transparency and accountability of the Grandview school board – something that has been very much lacking in recent years.

Want to help? Can you attend a board meeting and set up a camera? Or if that is too much, simply attend and take detailed notes.

If you are interested, use the contact form on the “About” page. Thanks!

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2 comments on “Culp again talks new school buildings, Watching the board group

  • Our schools are in pretty sad shape, and the bulk of this sadness comes from our pathetic school board. Grant Douglass is very pushy and pretty much dictates every decision that the board renders. And guess what? Grant is completely unqualified to make decisions regarding education. Ask any teacher who’s willing to be honest about things. Morale among our educators is pretty low. The stupidest person in the whole organization is calling all the shots.

    There’s another huge problem with Grandview’s schools: Complaining parents. There are a few parents who’ve figured out how to successfully complain to the point where the school responds by coddling their precious children. There was a story last week about swim team coach Patti Hoch resigning her position after 14 years. Her explanation:

    “When a few want the program to be about showcasing the individual at the expense of the majority, you fight as hard as you can and then you have to let go. Policies were implemented that were counter to my values and leadership style, so sadly it was time to say goodbye to the team that I built and love.”

    Translation: Parents of one sophomore boy wanted their son to swim on the GHHS swim team, but they didn’t feel he needed to attend practices like everybody else. Their son swims with the OSU club team, and they didn’t feel he needed to waste his time with the commoners who were forced to attend all the practices. GO TEAM!!!!!!! GO BOBCATS!!!!!!!

    After a few months of listening to complaints, our spineless Athletic Director and High School Principal caved in to the complainers and let them have their way. Their son even received a GHHS letter for swimming this year.

    Complaining parents are also the reason the last band director’s contract wasn’t renewed. Has anybody noticed how bad the GHHS band is since this happened? Exactly what that complainer wanted – a program where her untalented son could be competitive. GO BOBCATS!!!!!!!!

    • I can almost understand how the school has ended up with a Policy Governance system, the idea is that the school superintendent is supposed to be a professional and should be left alone to run the school. The board is supposed to keep complaining parents away and let unbiased administrators make the choices. It doesn’t work that way, supers get corrupted too and let things happen because it makes their lives easier, but at least I understand how the system is supposed to work.

      When you have a board member like Douglass who pushes everyone else around just because he wants to, and sometimes does favors for his friends and makes the administration bend to his will, that whole system of “let the experts run the school” gets turned into a sad joke.

      Where are these people who want the superintendent to be left alone when Douglass needs to be slapped down? Too cowardly to do anything? Or just resigned to “that’s the way the world works?”

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