Peabody: why is their a rush to confirm Scottsdale Schools cabinet contracts?

As I look at today’s — Friday March 2 — agenda, I have to wonder why is it so important to get contracts approved for cabinet members?

Mike Peabody, with his wife Lori. (submitted photo)

I have had scores of people ask me very same question. Scores of teachers, parents, and voters — in Scottsdale, Phoenix, and Paradise Valley — have reached out to me asking that question.

No one can really understand what the urgency is especially if things are proceeding like they are. Parents and voters understand Dr. Birdwell is pretty much done at SUSD. They understand that the people that she brought in are “ethnically” questionable.

Voters understand that she and you — the Board — are the reason for SUSD being in these situations.

Loose financial and procurement procedures, a culture of intimidation, high student departure rate — 25,000 students to just under 23,000 students now as it’s been reported to me — since Dr. Birdwell’s arrival, and the board not doing it’s job on over site are major issues why we are where we are today.

So, to my only questions.

Why are you rushing to approve contracts for people who may not be in the game plan of our next Superintendent? Why are you not waiting to see where the Attorney General’s investigation leads? Have you even thought that there might be more people named in the investigation?

And to that point, Dr. Nance and Mr. Roehler we’re named in the Attorney General’s investigation report, why aren’t they on administrative leave? Why would you renew a person’s contract (Dr. Nance) when they are under investigation?

The only reason anyone could come up with was, they get a new contract and then leave asking for a free taxpayer settlement! I can’t find any reason telling them that they are wrong.

And, I’m so very sorry to say that.

I want to trust my Governing Board to do the right thing. I want to believe you have our best interests at heart. But time and time again you have proven them and me wrong. As I understand school contracts more and more, I have learned that they don’t need to be in until April 15th or so.

So what’s the rush? So, please prove to the voters that you have their best interests at heart and wait issuing contracts until the civil and criminal investigations are complete.

There is no rush at this time to issue contracts to the cabinet, assistant principals and school level administration. Yes, please wait on all the others until there is clarification on the investigations and direction of SUSD.

Editor’s note: Mr. Peabody is a Scottsdale resident and candidate for the Scottsdale Unified School District Governing Board

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