CFO FIASCO proves waiting is costly ! LHS Head of School shouldn’t be Interim

Head of School for LHS should NOT be Interim !

For a change of pace I agree 100% with Mayor Ed Kennedy when he says that there is NO NEED to have an interim Head of LHS!

In yesterday’s Column Blog Chris Scott has the following:

In an interview Tuesday, Khelfaoui held out the prospect that he might need to name in interim principal if a permanent replacement can’t be hired by the time Martin resigns.

Khelfaoui said Martin, who is finishing up his second, three-year contract overseeing one of the state’s largest public high schools, made his announcement March 8. Khelfaoui said school department administrators immediately began working on a job description, but that the $143,000-a-year position wasn’t posted until this week. Coupled with there’s not many big city school principals looking for work, Khelfaoui said it might be difficult to find Martin’s replacement in time.

“We will do the best we can, but it depends on the pool,” Khelfaoui said. “We might have to do an interim to cross the bridge.”

If you look at last year when the School Supt. dragged out the processes of hiring a CFO, first appointing his friend for an interim period, then hiring a person with ZERO Massachusetts experience in February it caused chaos during the budget and end of year period. The following occurred.

They had to cancelled Budget Meetings and the public sessions .

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When doing the end of year summary, neither the CFO nor Supt. ever provided the public or School Committee with an exact dollar amount of what that total dollar figure was but instead played games including..

the Supt. tried to “expense” a very large portion of his total salary ($80K) to Food Services (many wonder if FEDS / State will even allow the $5,500 he is reducing it to) along with HUGE portions of the CFO’s and the Human Resources Director’s salaries (their’s were almost 40% ) in order to buy almost $1,000,000 worth of technology at the end of the fiscal year, which required a few months to correct and ended up with a negative finding from the Outside Auditors.

Auditor’s comments:
“The School Department transferred approximately $1.0 million from the Milk and Lunch
revolving fund to account for indirect charges originally charged to the general fund budget. Normally any indirect charge transfers anticipated are incorporated as part of the formal budget process. This gives the City Council all necessary information to make an informed decision regarding the approval of appropriations. In this case, the $1.0 million transfer was not approved in the formal budget. This is significant because had the transfer been part of the budget the City Council may have reduced the School’s appropriation request by the amount of the anticipated indirect cost transfer. The Transfer was determined after year end and had the impact of increasing the School’s available appropriation by the $1.0 million charged to the Milk and
Lunch revolving fund”.

The CFO and Supt. cost the city $500,000 in UNUSED Circuit Breaker money by NOT knowing the amount that could be carried over even after DESE issued a “reminder” in April.

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It is Only April, there is plenty of time to post and hire a well qualified individual and it is a must that that person be ready before the beginning of the next school year.

The School Committee can only ADVISE and ASK the Superintendent to get this done by June but under ED Reform it is ultimately up to him. If he takes the same length of time to hire a Head of School has it did a CFO the School will suffer.

So even though we shouldn’t have to, given the slow pace that this Superintendent shows filling key positions, we may have to settle for another Interim.

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