Preceding the March Jeffco Board of Eduction meeting, there were questions in the Jeffco Generations Facebook group and in letters to the Board of Education regarding exactly how the District’s Charter Schools’ share of 5B funds was calculated.
Those questions seemed legitimate, since the CDE numbers appear to give Charters a 10.7% share of students – 9,052 Charter school students out of a total of 84,631 students in the District (w/o GVCA). Because of this, people wanted to see, in the interest of transparency, how exactly the prorated share was calculated and the source of the numbers. You would think that it would have been fairly simple.
Because of what I consider to be this justified confusion, I would have thought I would have seen a somewhat different tone in the Facebook responses surrounding this topic. I would have expected to have seen some potentially empathetic or conciliatory responses such as: “Now that you bring this up, we see how there might have been some confusion.” or “Maybe we should have included something to clarify this in our literature.” or “We’re sorry we created this confusion, we’ll learn from this and strive to do better the next time.” or even “At the (add a date here) meeting of the Charter school consortium, we very clearly discussed that Charters would be receiving a prorated share of the Bond proceeds.” Unfortunately, I didn’t see those responses in the Facebook discussion on this topic. At https://www.facebook.com/groups/1236337263132884/permalink/1758767880889817/ you can go back and see if you agree or disagree with my opinion on this.
Yet at the Board meeting, when the District had an opportunity to put these questions to rest, they didn’t. Worse, Jason Glass and Ron Mitchell essentially shamed people for even asking the questions to begin with.
Jason Glass, at 5:25, stated that he thought the District had gone above and beyond being proportionate, fair and direct with regard to Charters, and stated that he found that the “allegation that we have done anything else is offensive.”
Ron Mitchell then agreed with Glass and stated that it is simply not true when people “accuse us of being unfair.”
Glass and the District staff had the opportunity to answer what were simple questions. They didn’t, and instead stated how they were offended by people asking them. Not only was their arrogance on full display, but all of this was a blow to transparency with regard to 5B funds and Charters. Using words such as “offensive,” “allegation” and “accuse” against people who were just seeking understanding certainly sent an extremely strong message to everyone in the community who might have questions in the future – “How dare you question us? Don’t ask questions!”
Glass came to this District stating that he would listen to everyone and try to bring sides together. His responses to the questions on 5B Charter funding, which should be simple to answer, have been anything but that.
Glass’s and Mitchell’s words at the Board meeting showed who they truly are – arrogant and dictatorial!