Vincent Farnsworth 4:30 p.m., March 15
Sweetwater's Funds for Education Committee Suspended
In a phone call today, Sweetwater Union High School District’s interim superintendent Ed Brand said that he was suspending the Funds for Education Committee. The controversial committee was established in August to negotiate vendor contracts. "[W]e're asking those vendors to re-examine their contracts and find a way for the district to share in their success," says the district’s website.
To negotiate new contracts, or renegotiate old ones, the committee invited vendors to a meeting at district headquarters. Vendors were asked what they could bring to the table; for example, newer vending machines, help in caring for athletic fields, or scholarships. The committee then negotiated elements of the contract, seeking up-front money to “provide financial resources for district programs,” according to the website.
Brand was Sweetwater’s superintendent from 1995 to 2005. During those years, a similar program required vendors to make up-front donations, which were deposited into a district-controlled fund. At the time, concerns about the program were voiced by the grand jury, citizens, and opinion writers at the Union-Tribune.
When the Funds for Education Committee began meeting in September, it had two parent members. One of them soon resigned. The other raised questions at committee meetings. Both expressed their concerns at a school board meeting last month.
In the wake of the district attorney’s indictments of school trustees yesterday, Brand apparently had second thoughts about the committee. “I’m not going to move forward with this,” he said. “I can stop the grief right here.”
See full story on Wednesday.
More like this:
- Week in review: Sweetwater Union High School District — June 29, 2013
- No Confidence Petition for Sweetwater's Ed Brand — Sept. 8, 2012
- Calexico Unified School District's Similarities with Sweetwater — Jan. 16, 2012
- Sweetwater's Funds for Education — Jan. 11, 2012
- Sweetwater Union Interim Superintendent Ed Brand’s Past — July 9, 2011