JCPS Up Next in Mismanagement City

Is anyone out there surprised by the new report from JCPS that found the giant organization is overpaying its administrations, has flawed hiring policies, that nepotism is rampant, and that it needs to trim its staff significantly?

I’m not. Like MSD before it, there just seems to be a pervasive attitude by administrators in these public positions that they’re entitled to operate the way they want, that they can hire whoever they want for whatever job they choose. Excess is king. And it’s all because it’s not THEIR money.

You remember the WLKY report by Duane Pohlman on the ridiculous Six-Figure Club, which has more than 332 proud members raking in excessive salaries.  Just like with Metro Government’s overtime policy, there’s no one minding the store when it comes to spending taxpayer dollars on salaries and overtime, a totally unnecessary expense except in times of crisis.

It’s becoming a way of doing business around here for bloated organizations — The leadership reacts with shock that all this mismanagement has been going on for so long. A public audit reveals massive problems, and there are vows to fix things. But rarely is anyone truly held responsible, with the exception, perhaps, of MSD’s Bud Schardein, but even he wasn’t outright fired for the massive wastes of taxpayer dollars that occurred on his watch.  Judy Green paid the price for her blatant abuse of Metro Council spending rules, but others who ponied up taxpayer dollars to buy meals for constituents or went shopping at Kroger didn’t even get a wrist slap.

Is anyone losing their job over the overtime scandal in Metro Government?  Nada. Donna Hargens says some heads are gonna roll at JCPS, but I don’t expect the high-ranking admins who are responsible to suffer. How about re-visiting all those hires that have been made, as detailed in the report, of people who were unqualified for a position but knew the right person and got hired. How about rescinding those hires and starting over?

This comment from the new report:  “Favoritism affects how people are hired. Often times favors are called in to get someone in a certain position whether they are qualified or not.”

Another ugly detail of the report is this policy:  In Kentucky, principals at schools with low achievement levels and inadequate progress, but who have “leadership capacity” as defi ned by the state may be removed from their position as a consequence of the failure to overcome learning defi cits in that school over a multi-year period. Whether “removal” constitutes termination or dismissal for cause is not defi ned, but Kentucky law does allow the removed principal to be relocated to another position, even another school but not a Persistently Low Achieving school.

In other words, if you are removed from a school because you are ineffective, you are likely to end up at the same or better pay grade and perhaps a position will be found for you in administration.

That is rewarding incompetence. In the real world, no one fails at their job and then gets an equal or better one. Eight of nine principals removed from Low-Achieving schools since 2010 ended up in other JCPS jobs. The other retired.

Perhaps JCPS, and Metro Government, and MSD will get their wasteful spending policies changed. Perhaps others will see what’s going on and change their policies before they get investigated.  Yea, right.