Monday, July 30, 2012

Update to Previous Transportation Post by Theresa Harrington

(Read Theresa Harrington's entire On Assignment post HERE.)

JULY 28 UPDATE: I sent Superintendent Steven Lawrence an email Wednesday, which included the following statement and question:

“…the report you mistakenly sent me was dated the day before you sent that email. Also Bill (Gillaspie) confirmed that FCMAT sent you the report in a July 18 email. Therefore, you had in fact received a draft report from FCMAT when you stated that you had not and when you stated that to your knowledge no one at the district had received it. Why did you make those false statements?”

Here is Lawrence’s response, which he sent in a Thursday email:

“I responded prior to receiving anything from FCMAT.”

In order to verify that FCMAT had sent Lawrence the document the day before he denied having it, I asked Gillaspie for a copy of the email sent by FCMAT.

Here is the copy Gillaspie sent:

“From: Leonel Martinez
Sent: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 1:44 PM
Cc: Bill Gillaspie
Subject: FCMAT draft report
Steven Lawrence, Ph.D., Superintendent
Mt. Diablo Unified School District
1936 Carlotta Drive
Concord, CA 94519

Dear Superintendent Lawrence:
Attached is a digital copy of the draft transportation report developed by the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team (FCMAT) for the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. Please review this draft document and contact us with any corrections or suggested changes. After we receive this information, we will proceed to finalize the report.
Leonel Martinez
FCMAT Technical Writer
(661) 636-4387
G: William P. Gillaspie, Ed.D., FCMAT Administrative Officer”

The above email shows that the draft report was sent to Lawrence at 1:44 p.m. July 18 — the day BEFORE he claimed he did not have it and said that no one else at the district did either.

The email included the same draft report attachment that Lawrence accidentally sent to me. Although some blog commenters have questioned the fact that the font with the July 18 date on the cover and cover letter is different from the rest of the document, the pdf from FCMAT includes the same dates. So, it appears that is the way the district received the report.

Now that Lawrence’s veracity has been called into question regarding the FCMAT report, I have requested copies of all emails and correspondence between the district and FCMAT from April to the present.

JULY 29 UPDATE: I have received an email from CAC Chairperson Lorrie Davis, who has informed me that the CAC executive board met with some district staff members to discuss the June 20 letter that would be sent to parents. Davis also said the district shared the June 5 FCMAT letter with the committee.
Here’s what Davis wrote today in an email:

“In regards to special ed. transportation, the CAC executive committee met with Mildred Browne, Greg Rolen and Carolyn Patton before the letter was sent out to parents explaining the new procedures. I appreciated them discussing the new procedures with us and listening to our concerns. In regards to ‘clustering’ our non-severe students, our biggest concerns are supervision and congestion at school sites. Parents I have spoken with have stated they are willing to cluster if it helps to save money and services provided for their children at school. We were amazed at how much money is being paid to parents for mileage reimbursement and agree that this practice needs to be controlled.”
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