Comment history

School district wrestling with network outages

Wow. Half a million dollars for network switches. What exactly was wrong with the old ones?

July 31, 2013 at 4:12 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

School district wrestling with network outages

Thank you for posting this. I looked it up and there 5 Network Analysts who make between $55,000 and $73,000 per year.

Does that seem like a lot of Network Analysts for a school district? I don't even think they have that many people who provide hands-on tech support for staff in the buildings.

Anyway, sure would be interesting to see the list of qualifications each of the 5 Network Analysts have...

July 31, 2013 at 4:07 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

School district wrestling with network outages

Ladies and gentlemen, your local school district is completely overrun with incompetence. Some of us have been warning about this for years. You have now given a bunch of inexperienced, uncertified, uneducated technology people millions upon millions of dollars to "tinker" with technology. This series of outages is only the beginning.

Demand a list of tech department employees and their qualifications if you don't believe me.

July 31, 2013 at 2:23 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

School board to consider legal settlement

If you look at the original article it says that Mrs. Wolf just wanted her job back. That doesn't sound like someone who wants to drag the school district through the courts just to get a payout.

Plus, Mrs. Wolf was probably only making about $30,000 per year so it's not like she had a bunch of money to spend on her own legal fees. Risking massive debt or bankruptcy just to make false claims against the school district doesn't make any sense to me. Not that I can speak for any of the parties involved, but it makes no sense to me. If you're going to pursue a frivolous lawsuit why not go after a private company so you can get a real payout. People don't sue school districts to get rich. Maybe in situations like this one it's about setting the record straight.

January 14, 2013 at 11:32 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

School board to consider legal settlement

LJW - I do not believe that Dave Cunningham at USD497 is actually an attorney. It doesn't say that anywhere on the USD497 website, and Cunningham doesn't even claim to be an attorney on his own LinkedIn page. Could someone fact check that?

I am confused why the original article claims that Pete Curran is the attorney representing the district in this case, but the new story says Cunningham is the attorney. If Cunningham is an actual attorney then why is the school district hiring outside lawyers to represent them in personnel issues?

January 14, 2013 at 10:42 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

School board to consider legal settlement

There's the link to the original story. Looks like it is a whistleblower lawsuit, and the district is now settling. I'd say that's pretty good reason for some further inverstigation.

January 14, 2013 at 10:05 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

School board to consider legal settlement

If I remember correctly this lawsuit had to do with district equipment (projectors) that were being rented out or sold to local businesses, and this employee, Barbara Wolf, reported that activity. That would indicate that some sort of illegal activity may have been taking place, this person reported it, and then lost their job because of it. Since the district is now paying out $30,000 to settle this claim I would say there might be some merit to what this former employee had to say.

School board - care to probe this one? Wasn't law enforcement involved in this at one point? Was there an investigation?

It would be mighty interesting if it turned out that there was illegal activity taking place and upper level administration covered it up and fired the people who raised concerns. Mighty interesting indeed...

January 14, 2013 at 10 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

For some Lawrence voters, 2005 bond issue still casts cloud of suspicion

Here's a little story about spending oversight at USD497. I have a friend who works in the technology department there, and here is what they told me:

A few years ago when projectors were being installed in every classroom at USD497 (using money from a technology BOND) there was a known defect with some of the bulbs that came in the projectors. It was worked out with the projector manufacturer that many of the bulbs would be replaced, free of charge, once they burned out. The tech department leadership looked at this and saw an opportunity to pump up one of the department's accounts by CHARGING THE SCHOOLS FOR THE BULBS WHICH WERE REALLY BEING REPLACED FOR FREE. No one told the schools this was going on.

Now, at the end of this particular fiscal year the tech department found itself with thousands and thousands of dollars left over in this account, and since it was a use-it-or-lose-it account the money had to be spent. There was an impromptu meeting held which was filled with smiles and twinkling eyes. "Let's buy ourselves new iPads!!!" said the department higher-ups.

At this point a low level employee stood up and said "The schools are operating on crippled budgets right now. If we have this money left over, and some of it came from the schools themselves, then why don't we stock up on equipment that we know the schools need. We could distribute this equipment equally across the district so that schools could then use their money for other necessities."

This altruistic idea was immediately shot down by the IT department leadership, and by the end of the week there were high level tech department employees and several district administrators "testing" brand new iPads by playing games, watching movies, and occasionally checking emails. This story is fairly well known in the school district and can be verified by numerous people.

There has been no change in IT department leadership since this incident took place. Taxpayer money was spent recklessly and foolishly, and this happened while school budgets were operating at a bare minimum.

Shifting (or stealing) funds from schools and then spending the money in a way that has no benefit for the schools is completely unacceptable.

No more money for technology until there is strong, competent leadership in place. Anyone who condones nickel-and-diming schools in order to buy themselves and their cronies fancy toys is not fit for the job.

Oversight. Where is it?

December 26, 2012 at 2:55 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence school board to seek $92.5 million bond issue

LJW Staff - Could you please publish a list of the IT Department's Network staff and their education, current certifications, and experience? Seems like that information would be extremely relevant to the technology part of this bond issue.

The school district uses Cisco equipment for its network and wireless. There are a number of Cisco certifications that are typically standard requirements for Network staff in most tech departments that utilize Cisco equipment. Could we get a list of the Cisco certifications that the USD497 tech department possesses?

December 20, 2012 at 11:33 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence school board to seek $92.5 million bond issue

It would be interesting to see the qualifications of the technology group at USD497. It is my understanding that not one person on the tech staff has a current or relevant certification for current networking and wireless technologies. No educational background in networking, wireless, or IT management.

Get qualified people to manage and oversee the USD497 network. That would be a good step to take before giving them millions of additional dollars to spend on "experimenting with technology."

December 20, 2012 at 11:27 a.m. ( | suggest removal )