After reviewing a June 20 letter to some special education parents from the Mt. Diablo school district — along with preliminary transportation findings and recommendations and a draft transportation report provided to the district by the Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team (FCMAT) — I submitted several questions in July 31 emails to General Counsel Greg Rolen, Assistant Superintendent Mildred Browne and Special Education Administrator Carolyn Patton.
As of today (two weeks after I emailed them), none of them has responded.
Here are my questions:
1. What is the similarly sized district that has only two parents who are paid in lieu, which is referenced in the second paragraph (of the parent letter)? I have been told by FCMAT that they did not have this information.
2. How many special education students are in the above-referenced district and what percentage are transported?
3. As you may be aware, I received a copy of the draft transportation report from Superintendent Lawrence. The draft report attributes the “clustering” idea to a third party expert’s analysis, which I understand was provided to FCMAT by you. Who prepared this analysis? How much did the analysis cost and did the board approve of this expenditure?
4. Why does the letter to parents attribute the information about the similarly-sized district and clustering to FCMAT, when that information actually came from the district?
5. Why aren’t parent meetings being held before school starts?
6. What are the dates and times of the parent meetings? If they haven’t yet been established, when do you expect to inform parents of this information?
7. What is the website with information regarding transportation changes and frequently asked questions? If it has not yet been established, when do you expect parents to be able to use it as a resource?
8. What is the email address for sending specific questions regarding transportation? If it has not yet been established, when you do expect to inform parents that they can use it?”
So far, the only question that has been partially answered is: who prepared the third party analysis? Rolen revealed in a letter to FCMAT, which I obtained through a Public Records Act request, that the analysis was prepared by Matt Juhl-Darlington on or about April 6 — nearly two weeks BEFORE the district contracted with FCMAT for its transportation and special education studies. The district and FCMAT are refusing to provide the analysis to the press and public, citing attorney-client privilege.
Do you think someone from the district should answer these questions?