As we prepare and look forward to the meeting at MVRCS this evening, we have compiled a list of questions we feel are in alignment with our major issues and concerns regarding our school. We are sharing this list of questions in the hopes that the majority of them will be addressed during the meeting. Please feel free to add additional questions or thoughts in the comment section below in an effort to organize our efforts in our quest for information.
1. Questions regarding Conflict of Issue Laws:
a. Isn’t it legally a conflict of interest for Neil Kinnon (City Councilor) & Tom Brennan (if he is an Assistant Councilor for Malden) to also serve on the Board of Trustees considering the interactions between MVRCS & the City of Malden?
b. Where can we find past Meeting Agenda’s and Minutes? Per the Open Meeting Laws, the minutes of Executive Sessions (which are only permitted under the most limited of circumstances) are only permitted to remain unpublished as long as publishing them would defeat the lawful purposes of the executive session.
c. Under both State Conflict of Issues/Code of Conduct laws and Charter school laws governing nepotism, isn’t it illegal for Mr. Kinnons family members and friends to be employed at MVRCS? (Preferential Treatment to Friends & Family Members)
d. As a Public Official (per State Ethics Committee) and according to Charter School laws prohibiting special privileges being given to Board Members or Administration, isn’t it illegal for Chris Finn’s nieces to have been readmitted to the school after leaving the school? Is this the only time that this has occurred or has this happed on numerous occasions?
2. Charter School Specific Regulations & Laws
a. Duty of Care Issues:
i. Do all Board Members feel they have acted solely in the best interest of the school regarding the acquisition of the lot that will be used for the Athletic Facility and in negotiations regarding Roosevelt Park?
ii. Does the Board as a whole feel that the school is in compliance with the law and that they addressed fully all relevant questions regarding the acquisition of land and in negotiations regarding Roosevelt Park?
b. Duty of Loyalty
i. Can all Board Members assure the parents that they have acted in accordance with the laws that prevent them from acting in any manner that has allowed them to profit personally or indirectly as a result of their position? This would include:
1. not voting on any matter that they or a family member has a personal interest in;
2. the hiring and retaining of friends or family members that are not held to the same standards or expectations as others;
3. prohibiting the use of their position in obtaining improper benefits for themselves, family members, or friends;
- Knowledge of Public Record Laws & the Freedom of Information Act
- Are all board members aware that charter schools must provide any record, including data files, letters, memoranda or other documentary materials made or received by an officer or employee of the school, to any member of the public who requests it?
- Admission into the School:
- The Lottery & Waitlist
i. According to the laws that govern Charter schools and must conduct their lotteries in public, with a disinterested party drawing the names. A “disinterested” person is someone who is not affiliated with the school. That being said, what is the name of the CPA Firm and individual that has and/or will be conducting the lottery?
ii. The Charter school laws state that it is unacceptable to give preference to children of staff members or Board members or use statements that are meant to discourage diverse, ELL, or any other protected group from attending the school. What steps are all Board Members taking to ensure that these practices will no longer be practiced nor tolerated?
5. When undertaking the building or construction of a facility, federal and state laws require compliance with public bidding laws. Has MVRCS put the contract for the new facility out to bid? When?
6. In the article published in the Observer and advertisement taken out in the Malden paper, along with salaries the educational credentials were also provided. Would it be possible to obtain a more detailed summary that included not only the individuals listed but also information regarding the credentials and qualifications of all faculty and staff of MVRCS. According to Charter School laws, all teachers must be certified, could that be included in the summary.
7. In one report it was noted that the Board chose not to accept Title I funds. Given these tough economic times and the reduction in funding that the school is facing, why has Board made this decision yet choosing to charge parents a transportation fee?
8. In regards to Transportation, as MVRCS is a ‘regional’ school and entitled to be reimbursed for varying percentages of transportation expenses. What is the current percentage?
9. The DESE is requiring all Charter schools to produce a report that identifies the steps and efforts each school will take to improve teacher retention. Has MVRCS completed this report and if so, where can parents find a copy of it?10. According the Inspector General and Massachusetts State Building Authority the purchasing official must complete a MCPPO (Massachusetts Certified Public Purchasing Official program, especially in light of the construction of the new facility. Does an Administrator have the appropriate certificate and is it up to date (it is only good for 3 years and recertification requires additional course work). If not, must this be complete prior to beginning construction?