"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Broadie Supt. Illegally Hires Broad Trainee at Public Expense

Since being hired over more qualified candidates for the position of Knox County superintendent, Jim McIntyre has distinguished himself as a loyal stooge of Eli Broad's corporate efficiency training camp, where he learned undemocratic practices that he has brought to his public responsibilities in East Tennessee. 

Last fall he illegally put the KCS on the hook for almost a hundred thousand dollars to pay a Broad trainee to practice her austerity lessons in Knoxville. 

This week County Commission rejected payment due the Broad clone.  When will Knoxville have enough of McIntyre, another sad example of big business run amok among public institutions!
(WBIR - KNOXVILLE) - At its regular meeting Monday evening, the Knox County Commission retroactively rejected a controversial grant agreement with the Broad Center for the Management of School Systems.

The embattled grant agreement laid out the terms of employment for a Broad Center fellow, Christy Hendler, as she worked for KCS during the 2014-15 school year.

The Broad Center is, essentially, a training program for people with executive leadership experience aspiring to become school district superintendents and other leaders within large education systems.
Knox County Schools Superintendent Jim McIntyre is himself a Broad graduate.

McIntyre accepted the grant agreement for Hendler's employment back in September, without seeking the approval of the KC Board of Education or Knox County Commission.

In April, county Law Director Bud Armstrong informed Board of Education members McIntyre had no authority to do that, since the grant has a matching fund requirement, among other reasons.

RELATED: BOE, law director question superintendent's Broad grant acceptance

In the arrangement, the Broad Center agreed to give KCS a grant totaling up to $29,700, to be put toward Hendler's salary. In exchange, the district would foot the rest of her salary, plus pay benefits.
The baseline salary for a Broad fellow, according to the Broad Academy, is $90,000. The Broad grant would pay for up to $29,700 of that.

With McIntyre's unauthorized acceptance of the grant agreement, Hendler has been working as the district's director of planning and improvement. Her time with the school system as a Broad fellow is set to end at the end of July.

That means KCS - and therefore taxpayers - have been footing the bill this whole time for not only the difference ($90k salary - $29.7k grant = $60,300 taxpayer responsibility), but also for the cost of benefits. The district estimates that at about $27,000, putting taxpayers on the hook for a total of $87,300.

However, because McIntyre accepted the grant agreement back in September, both the Knox County Board of Education and the County Commission had to vote to retroactively approve the grant agreement.

In a 5-4 decision late this spring, the BOE narrowly approved the agreement.

On Monday evening, however, Knox County commissioners returned a surprise vote.

At their work session last Monday, a majority of commissioners indicated they would be in favor of approving the agreement, recommending its approval 7 to 3, with one commissioner opting to pass.
Within a week, six commissioners had changed their mind.

Nine voted against approving the agreement. Commissioner Amy Broyles was not present.

Chairman Brad Anders, who voted "yes" at the work session but then voted "no" Monday night, said "there was more study and questions raised over the week," and agreed it was quite a change.

"The thing that I used as a measure," he said, was that McIntyre's approval "was improperly done and you can't condone that."

Commissioner Sam McKenzie was the lone "yes," though he explained himself prior to the vote.
"The water's over the dam...these funds are pretty much spent," McKenzie told his fellow commissioners, urging fiscal responsibility. "We're basically turning down $30,000...the money's been spent, so we're going to have to take out - at this point - $30,000 out of a potential teacher's assistant or potential, I don't know, across-the-street hire or, you know, toilet paper or something. That money has to come from somewhere to pay this money because it's pretty much been spent."

"This, to me, is just the clean-up," McKenzie continued. "If folks want to make a point, I think there are better places to make a point than us paying $30,000."

Commissioner Charles Busler said he understood McKenzie's point, but said, "the money was spent before it was approved, and that should bother us to no end....I mean, how could we look at the people that voted us in office and say, 'Oh, they went ahead and spent it, so it's spent anyway, so we're not going to do anything about it.'?"

In the pre-vote deliberations, Commissioner Randy Smith asked McIntyre: "Do you feel this is a wise spending of taxpayers' money?"

McIntyre told the commission he does think Hendler's salary has been worth the cost.

"She's been able to work with our operational areas to identify key performance indicators, to ensure that they're as efficient and effective as they can be," he told the commission. "She has been leading and facilitating some of the work around, 'How do we make sure that all the student assessments that we do are either required by the federal government or are valuable to inform instruction for our teachers?' And so, yes, I believe it's been-- it is a good investment of resources, and it's been valuable to our school system to have access to the skills and abilities that she's brought to the table."

Several commissioners mentioned getting several dozen emails from constituents, urging them to reject the grant agreement.

McKenzie, however, cautioned, "We represent 500,000 people. Thirty people sending me an email does not mean we're doing the people's business. That does not mean that. No way does that mean that. ...Listen, but don't say that that's indicative or representative of all the people, because it's not."
Armstrong told commissioners what a "no" vote would mean.

"If it's not approved by this body, then the grant is rejected," Armstrong said. "Then the Board of Education will have to then contact the grantor, and then they'll have to work out something with the grantor and see where it goes from there. There's not a clear-cut answer yes or no."

Bob Thomas, KCS assistant superintendent of administrative services, confirmed to the commission the Broad Center grant has been received and already spent on Hendler's salary.

Asked if the $29,700 will have to be paid back to the Broad Center, Armstrong said those are issues "that I will have to address with the school board and the legalities of where it leaves them."

After the overwhelming, near-majority rejection of the grant agreement, McIntyre said he'll now wait and see what the county law director and BOE decide to do.

"Some of the commissioners indicated one of the possibilities: We might have to send the money back, and I don't know. We'll have to figure that out, and I'll defer to the law director's office and to the school board to sort all that out," he told WBIR. "This is, you know, $30,000. We have a $430 million budget, and so, you know, this is a relatively modest set of resources in the big picture of our overall budget."

McIntyre acknowledged this was a grant agreement approval process with flaws.

"At times there are things that come through the process that don't get handled properly. We try to rectify those and correct those and make sure that they're handled properly in the end, and this was really what this was about," McIntyre said. "It was about, 'How do we address the deficiencies in this process? How do we make sure we get it right?'"

Asked if the district will keep Hendler on as a regular employee after the end of July, McIntyre said, "that's really a separate decision from the grant agreement or from the grant itself, and we'll certainly evaluate that as we do with all employees, moving forward."


  1. Concerned Parent7:43 AM

    McIntyre has committed a felony withholding the Broad Grant by not letting County Commission know there was a matching grant they had to pay. The County Commission was notified Monday June 22nd. You can see it here:


    The District Attorney should indict McIntyre for fraud.

  2. Concerned Parent7:44 AM

    Here McIntyre lies about texting reckless school bus drivers:


    Two children and a teacher died because of a texting reckless school bus driver that McIntyre should have fired. This man is a menace. And a habitual liar.