I’ve been reading through all of the things that have come out of the TCAPS FOIA requests. Here’s a summary:
- Grant Chandler did things with MIExcel that he shouldn’t have been doing. His actions resulted in a separation agreement and loss of a lucrative employment contract with MIExcel. (MIExcel administers grant money and consulting services to qualifying schools.)
- Chandler’s funny business with MIExcel had something to do with providing services to schools that were not “identified” (eligible) for grant-funded services.
- Despite the separation from MIExcel, TCAPS brass was staunchly loyal to Chandler.
- At the time Chandler separated from MIExcel, MIExcel leaders were ticked that Chandler was providing “consulting” services for the TCAPS superintendent search. TCAPS officials refused to call it “consulting” services, even though that’s what it was. MIExcel said providing consulting services was outside Chandler’s role with MIExcel.
- At the time Chandler was brought on to do the consulting, the Ticker reported that Chandler’s job in consulting with TCAPS was to help the district find someone capable of implementing MIExcel’s The Blueprint. Board member Forton was quoted going on and on about how important a Blueprint cheerleader was in a new superintendent. Blueprint loyalty, and by extension loyalty to Chandler, appeared to be the pre-eminent quality that they were seeking in the new superintendent.
- TCAPS was so loyal that they authorized a $30,000 contract to Chandler to do the work that MIExcel was doing for free.
- TCAPS was so loyal that Ann Cardon was ousted almost immediately after questioning #3.
- Jame McCall strong-armed her way into a re-negotiated contract right before Cardon’s ouster. One condition McCall had was that TCAPS continue with Chandler and the district’s expense.
- TCAPS was loyal to Chandler, and his shady business with MIExcel, while TCAPS was doing something shady with student counts and the Homeschool Partnership.
- TCAPS was loyal to Chandler, and his shady business with MIExcel, while TCAPS was getting a financial bailout from State Representative Larry Inman who is under federal indictment for a financial shakedown of his own.
That’s as far as I’ve gotten.
I don’t have any answers, I just have more questions.
If Chandler was offering MIExcel services to schools that didn’t qualify, what was the benefit to him or to anyone? Who received money or power from Chandler not following the parameters that came with the federal funds? What was Chandler’s incentive to do this?
Why did TCAPS officials choose to stick with Chandler for a fee when MIExcel services were free? And why were they willing to fire Ann Cardon over it in a hot second? (We don’t know that this is why she got fired, I mean “resigned,” but all roads lead to Rome.) Why did Sue Kelly act like someone had just insulted the Pope when Cardon questioned Chandler’s $30,000 contract and continued presence in TCAPS business even though Chandler really didn’t have any business being connected to TCAPS at that point?
If MIExcel is there to provide federal funding to qualifying schools, and there was something fishy going on with all that, was TCAPS being helped to get federal money or other resources that were improper? If not, how do we know? Since TCAPS did scheme to get money improperly through Homeschool Partnership count fraud, it’s not a stretch to think they might have been running other schemes.
How does the blind loyalty to Grant Chandler correlate to the district’s staunch opposition to the School Finance Research Collaborative? Why is TCAPS the lone dissenter against the SFRC, just like they are weirdly loyal to Grant Chandler who was “separated” from Calhoun schools and MIExcel?
Why did Jame McCall get a new contract for no reason at all? And why was Chandler a condition of McCall’s new contract? (If she interviews for the superintendent position, someone please ask her why she felt this was so important.)
Why does TCAPS error on the side of shady? With Chandler/MIExcel, student count fraud and Larry Inman, why is TCAPS so comfortable walking the line with people who walk the line? How does it serve students to do really questionable stuff to try to get ahead by hook or by crook? By smelly or by Kelly? By the gall of Jame McCall?
What does The Blueprint even do, besides offer platitudes about “disruption” and rapid growth? In finance, investors that offer abnormally high returns with unusual investment methods are usually a very, very bad idea. What does The Blueprint really have to offer besides words? Do we have any proof at all that it works?
Why does Sue Kelly get all giggly/giddy at the mention of Chandler’s name? It’s weird, and nobody wants to see that.
Here’s an idea – can any of these people be deposed as part of the ongoing lawsuits? If they bring Open Meetings Act charges against Moon-Mohr, she could depose all of these people as part of the case and ask some good questions. The rules for deposition are that anyone who might have anything to say that might lead to something admissible can be deposed. All of these people and all of these questions would be relevant to any ongoing lawsuit that relates to TCAPS or Moon-Mohr. Hey, throw Larry Inman in there.
There still have not been any charges against Moon-Mohr.