NYSED Scolds Superintendent, School Board
by Buck Quigley - posted 9:56 am, April 29, 2009
Click here for a copy of the three-page report from the State Education Department to Buffalo School District General Counsel Michael J. Looby, dated March 31, 2009, which is written about in today’s Buffalo News. The report is a response to a school board request that the state investigate alleged leaks from board members to Buffalo News reporter Mark Sommer, regarding remarks made during an alleged executive session that took place on January 29, 2008.
Evidence does not support the claim that it was a properly convened executive session in the first place, not to mention the fact that Hon. James A. McLeod and Hon. Craig T. Hannah resigned (on April 15, 2008) from the ethics committee that conducted the ethics investigation—the day after it was pointed out by Artvoice that they were serving in that capacity in violation of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York.
Note that the school board is so concerned with controlling information that the first two paragraphs of the state report deal with board president Mary Ruth Kapsiak’s failure to include essential evidence to the SED when she requested an investigation back on April 25, 2008, and again on November 20, 2008. The State Education Department did not even receive the evidence supporting the board’s request for an investigation until February 10, 2009.
Once they were provided the information, it only took 49 days for the legal counsel of the State Education Department to offer a determination that “reflects only the practical difficulties inherent in conclusively proving the alleged violations of law, and not vindication of the handling of this matter by either the Board or Williams.”
Imagine the good that could be done for the schoolchildren of Buffalo if the superintendent and school board spent more time thinking about them than they do thinking about their travel itineraries and legal strategies?