*Transparency and Fiscal Responsibility   **OPEN GOVERNMENT IS BEHAVED GOVERNMENT**

-With a 19 million dollar (according to newest audit) rainy day fund, parents should not have to send  basic school supplies . We were snowed for years with the “We are out of money ” mantra.

Request Band books, English novels and weekly readers of any type  be provided free of charge$  to your student.   There should be no “suggested”  lists as we already pay for these items with our taxes. If it’s required for a grade in a class, the district is required to provide it. [See my  blog, Bond Vs Ann Arbor schools and the Michigan Department of Ed Position paper on this topic to see what parents are allowed/disallowed to be charged for.]

-Wasteful spending on food and gifts went on by school officials for many years, but I brought  media attention to it.  The district now posts a portion of it’s general fund check register online due to my push for transparency.[ It is not  useful  to track  financial dealings of the district due to fact that they post a stripped down version. ]  All accounts  including athletics and bond and even lunch fund accounts need to be posted for the public to see in a user friendly form . There is a need to tape the meetings to post online. The community needs to know what it’s school board is doing, and if it’s doing it in the open or not. With all of the bond money spent on technology, there has to be some equipment available to tape and broadcast these meetings on TV and online.

- The district is in deep debt  for buildings and technology; It totals half a billion dollars. Documents show the past Superintendent Mark Deldin and  elected board members at the time knew if the 2004 bond passed we would owe 455 million dollars ,  and already owed 83 million to the school bond loan fund . The MI Treasury stipulated the taxpayers  be informed of the full effect of borrowing but the board kept us in the dark. Knowing about the existing extreme debt could have led to taxpayers voting that or any future proposals down. A board with fiscal forethought should have realized that we were in too deep and stopped borrowing . Nope.  In 2010 with a significant downturn in the economy, they thought it wise to increase our debt by another  89 million.  Like monopoly money,  several  vintage elected  officials  were quite happy to spend like crazy and then  blame the Treasury, low funding, or a bad economy, conveniently everyone but themselves, when  it could not be paid back. Like blaming a candy store for causing cavities. That is why we began to  pay increased mills starting with our September 2014 summer tax bill.

- How exactly have the millions borrowed from the bond proposal been spent?  Good question.A line by line audit should be made public. The Treasury has no mechanism to certify what projects and techno devices are necessary, counting on local boards for this. Our board appears to count on the general contract manager, and this manager profits from the work they recommend. Monthly change order summaries showing millions of dollars in mistakes and changes over the life of these bonds are kept from public view. Great for contractors;bad deal for taxpayers.


It was a great election!   Thanks  to all who helped  and got out the vote for me in  Campaign 2014. I met many new people , had a lot of new viewers on this site, and learned a lot!! Always a win for me!

        2 fresh faces on the board is a really good thing for our students.

Stay tuned for more on Common Core (especially Math) and academics , class size, school safety and any other topic I find needs discussion. Parents keep contacting me with your topics.

-Current searchable database Information about Chippewa Valley school performance can be found on Schooldigger.com,  www.mischooldata.org  and The Mackinac Center for Public Policy [ which uses socioeconomic status to grade the success of  individual schools]  here http://www.mackinac.org/depts/epi/performance.aspx?report=3.     I have addressed the topic of  test scores  in a blog on this site dated October 2012.

- Read about the new elementary math program.   http://www.candgnews.com/news/chippewa-valley-purchases-new-elementary-math-program

To give a snapshot, here are a few quotes pulled from the article:  ”Jones ( Dr. Pamela Jones, director of curriculum and assessment for the district ),  indicated that Chippewa Valley’s third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students currently perform at a lower level than those in neighboring districts like Utica and L’Anse Creuse.   In addition, she said, ‘ there are “extreme inconsistencies” when looking at its math scores from one school to the next and one grade to the next. Transition was very difficult for our students because they were coming out of an elementary program that was far easier than what it needs to be.’  Superintendent Ron Roberts reiterated the importance of acting quickly, acknowledging that ‘ Chippewa Valley’s elementary math program has long been in need of a facelift ‘ . ‘ I think part of the problem is that we’ve kind of floundered for a while now with how to approach this issue (improving our math assessment scores). ‘ ”

Wow!  Why wait so long for a math program “facelift” and  why is the top highly paid school official floundering  when it was known test scores were not where they should be? 

Read about the new Common Core math program here: http://bridges1.mathlearningcenter.org/resources/materials/ccss

and here: http://bridges1.mathlearningcenter.org/resources/materials/parents .  I will post more on this program very soon…...


Open Government is Behaved Government RECAP

November 5, 2014

*Transparency and Fiscal Responsibility   **OPEN GOVERNMENT IS BEHAVED GOVERNMENT** -With a 19 million dollar (according to newest audit) rainy day fund, parents should not have to send  basic school supplies . We were snowed for years with the “We are out of money ” mantra. Request Band books, English novels and weekly readers of any type  be [...]

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Chippewa Valley Campaign Antics

October 24, 2014

  The taxpayers were funding this activity. The laws MCL 169.257 and 15.404 are clear on this. Essentially, it is up to the people, and not public bodies, to decide elections.  Even if a school district or employees believe a candidate or ballot question is not in their best interest , they may not utilize public [...]

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Where is it going…Exactly ? More coming on this topic in depth……

May 15, 2013

More building/ updating is taking place so the district can spend up the rest of the bond money. 40+ million has already been spent (maybe more by now) since 2010. Millions were still left from the prior bond. One of the projects being planned for Dakota High has caught my eye : Replacing the auditorium [...]

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