The latest plans for the Gary Schools were announced Friday afternoon. Direct and to the point.
Gary’s Wirt-Emerson set for closure . New plans for Gary schools include massive layoffs.
Imagine that’s your school. Anxiety and images from the Florida school shooting are still fresh, But it’s good to be with your classmates, your community. Then this announcement. Suddenly the comfort and familiarity of your school will be gone. All because of the actions of past administrations.
Sigh, Emergency Manager Hinckley, team member$ , and DUAB agree that tough decisions are needed. Yes. But this decision eats away at the unstable foundation of the Gary Community School System, instead of strengthening it.
Why is holding those responsible too tough a decision?
For years the community of Gary have consistently voiced concerns of mismanagement with no results. Demands for action were ignored. Yes, demands as in here is the documentation on deficiencies, here is the law, you have the responsibility to take action.
No investigations. School carried on with select Administration paid even when teachers were not, those in power were free to do as they pleased, which occasionally meant avoiding public input by refusing to respond to plans and offers from organizations.
In July 2017 GCSC was taken over by the State of Indiana and the Distressed Unit Appeals Board. The writing seemed to be on the wall! the usual suspects re-imaged themselves and were given power on the current Boards or Committees. The consulting firm, Emergency Manager, and appointees relied on the previous misadministration to inform and guide them.
Current powers rely on the previous misadministration for information and data.
A swift kick in the dupa and out the door works wonders. That didn’t happen, and evidently no middle ground as new powers sought their sage advice. This is not a well thought out plan. We’re not talking about masterminds with secret codes here. There is no logical reason to solicit defective and deceptive policies.
To borrow that beloved Indiana tourism slogan ,this is Honest To Goodness Indiana! Our former Attorney General spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on unsuccessful lawsuits defending laws which the Legislature knew were unconstitutional.
These concerns are pitching underhand to the State. Documentation on GCSC actions and inactions are irrefutable. They include include financial irregularities, (i.e. missing money), unaccounted (i.e. Stolen )property, and an inventory for countless pieces of valuable artwork with more white out than the Oscars. (i.e. we know who had that piece last and sent them a note but it’s only been 6 years). Bonded, insured, and verified organizations offered without cost, to board up and secure the wide-open closed schools, remove and store artworks wherever the City chose. Others wanted to buy or rent these properties, individuals offered programming approved by the State. These and more were ignored by GCSC , sent to a black hole of emails, or scratched from public testimony.
The plans for Wirt-Emerson , consolidations, and lay-offs are deja-vu. Unknown agendas with known and detrimental consequences.
Among the parents and teachers and community who have not waivered is Carlos Tolliver, elected to the School board a year ago. “Fiscal transparency and accountability” is his mantra which echoes throughout the city.
Holding those responsible is ethical, it is just, and gosh darn it the city will recover assets, teachers will be reimbursed for payroll deductions which GCSC kept instead of submitting to 401ks, and I know of at least $30,000 coming back.