Heavy cost of education consultants in Prince Rupert

Excellent article by Janet Steffenhagen in the Vancouver Sun about the crazy money that the Prince Rupert School District has been spending on “consultants” :


“I concluded at the time that since Doi had recommended Stigant, his assistant superintendent in Okanagan Skaha for seven years prior to Stigant’s retirement in 2006, and Hauptman, who had been Okanagan Skaha’s director of instruction, that he had done the work free of charge.”

Hahah!  Far from the truth!  

Good work if you can get it.

Anyway, a nice read, with many unanswered questions.

dude, that is a lot of money.

The $37,000 they paid Stigant for 37 days of work would have been enough to give each of the local schools one extra hour of special needs support in the classroom for the entire school year.
IMO a much better and productive way to spend tax dollars.

This story has the makings of an educational Watergate.  The more you find out, the more questions arise.

Is this ever going to end?

Im so annoyed with the school board - they’re spending a small fortune hiring consultants because they are incapable of doing the work themselves.  I cant wait til election time.

Its not like they even take the advice of thier overpriced consultants either.  Last years matrix report recommended a traditional school model for SD52…thats not happening. It also said sell schools to pay for a new one…thats not happening. They also said close Conrad…thats not happening.

This board likes to throw money around  

And what is with the Terrace woman??? She doesnt live here, work here, play here yet she has the power to make decisions affecting my child’s education?? Its bullshit she should resign from the board.  


And what is with the Terrace woman??? She doesnt live here, work here, play here yet she has the power to make decisions affecting my child’s education?? Its bullshit she should resign from the board.  

You must be talking about Terry Lynn Huddlestone.
She is participating via webcam from the comfort of her Terrace living room.  During the three recent school closure consultation meetings, school district tech staff spent hours setting up those webcams.  I wonder if they bill her for all that work or does that too come out of funds that should be spend on our children’s education?

So, where was all the outrage a year ago when this all first came to light?

atowncalledpodunk.blogspot.com/2 … ercer.html

No selling schools B.C. tells districts

Cash-strapped school boards around B.C. are being told they can not sell their mothballed schools in order to make money to cover budget shortfalls.

Dozens of schools across the province are likely to be shut down next year because of declining enrolment in rural areas and tight funding, but B.C. Education Minister Margaret MacDiarmid is turning down requests from the affected districts to sell them off.

Read more: cbc.ca/canada/british-columb … z0iAwN0nCr

Because Podunk, until it was their school that was slated they didn’t care.

Schools are going to absolutely worthless soon. The closed schools have no heat on and will need to be torn down in a few years. Will be King Ed school all over again for all our closed schools.
The cost of ripping down these schools will diminish any potential property value.

OOps my bad

Ah you know I never thought of that, you could be onto something there Sir Ryan…

Oh yes, they did care: hackingthemainframe.com/smf/inde … 117.0.html

That is true… You made 1 comment on the 15th page, you do care.
As for the others though, their comments are fresh and new, and probably the result of their school being “targeted”.

The subject here is the heavy cost of management consultations, not school closures.
Spending $37,000 on training two human resource staff is a bit too much, considering the district cares very little when it comes to provisions for professional development of support staff.
Just recently support staff was given a PD day with workshop offers that were of interest to just a few.  The union had asked to put on a one day First Aid course for childcare workers, as that is what is mainly needed, and the now so well trained human resource personnel just ignored that request.

Or is it frustration from watching the board continually go in directions that make no sense. You can only watch ideas get ignored so long until you realize perhaps the powers that be don’t really give a shit. If it was not for the obligation to consult the public at mtg’s on issues of school closures, I would suspect there would never be any public mtgs.

As for closing schools, this is history repeating itself. A gov’t using the “there MAY be money available for a new school if you hit our school population target number” carrot. Will, or have the board members learned their lesson from the first go around?  Most of them were around the last time. We will all see. IMO, nope.

I liken this to the cheating spouse analogy. First time it was there fault, second time it is our (the boards) fault for giving them another chance to hurt us.

Your dead wrong, its not the school closures that are pissing me off - I understand the need to restructure this district, its the level of incompetance this board has. 

Did they answer any questions at these meetings held in regards to recent school closures? No

Did they have any actual plan in regards to organizing the last school closures? No it was a mess

Are they making any effort to include parents in their planning? No they just ask a bunch of questions

Are they capable of making decisions in regards to our childrens education? Obviously not.

I realize I’m ranting a bit, Im just so annoyed that as a parent I get more questions than answers from the trustees.  We were asked to submit questions we wanted addressed at the last public consultation meeting, well it was a pointless endevour cause they just asked the question again- what is the purpose of that?? All it does is frustrates everyone.

I attended the Westview consulation, during the presentation from the PAC, Tina and Bart were involved in their own little conversation, for much longer than necessary, the tech guy was walking around in front of everyone trying to reconnect the terrace woman, russel appeared to be sleeping,  and janet just sat there looking annoyed.  The impression they gave me, is they dont give a shit what the parents have to say- they will stick with their own agenda.

Well all well and good, but the ongoing drama of the School District has been a rather long running saga, and yet in the last SD election pretty well the same group was re-elected.

These are all issues that have percolating for a number of years, the most recent item of interest, the consultants the Mercer dismissal are now over a year old. So it’s not like this is some smoking gun discovery or anything.

Though one thing is certain, the SD needs to be upfront about all of these expenditures on consultants and the still mysterious nature of the disappearance of Mr. Mercer.

Especially in light of the closures of the last few years and the pending ones to come, not to mention the eventual reduction of staff that will come from more closures (which perhaps is why this FOI recently gained so much attention).

They do tend to be a rather secretive lot despite the numerous open forums that seem more like a guest lecture series, rather than any kind of open debate over the future of the school system.   

Well, the smoking gun discovery is that when the district was asked how much they paid Gary Doi to recruit his close acquaintances, the response from the school district was, in the words of Ms. Kim Morris (as quoted by Steffenhagen): 

“There is no record responsive to your request regarding Mr. Doi.”

And, according to Ms. Steffenhagen, this response came just days after the district paid Mr. Doi a huge barrel of money to recruit his close acquaintances.  There is no way that Kim Morris didn’t know this, since she had presumably signed the cheque a couple of days before.

Often the appearance of a cover up is worse than the thing that is apparently being covered up. 

Did Ms. Morris attempt to cover up the fact that the district was paying Doi this money?  Or did she truly not know that the district was paying Doi this bucket of cash to hire his close acquaintances?  Those are the only two possible choices here.  And whichever one is true, Kim Morris should have to account for it.

If nothing else, whenever someone Googles the words “Kim Morris” and “Secretary Treasurer” they will arrive at this thread (and Ms. Steffenhagen’s article) and hopefully future employers will know how to use Google.  Then maybe they can ask her.

It would be interesting to see the original documents.  I’ll bet that Kim Morris’s name is on the invoice from Gary Doi, and I’ll also bet that it is marked “confidential.”

Anyone have the documents? 

Well since you suggest you know what was in Ms Morris’ mind when she offered her response to the Sun, here’s a chance to find out for sure.

Three opportunities to seek out answers.

Tonight from 6:30 to 8:30 at CHSS at the special board consultation public forum in the Multi Purpose room

March 18th at the Public Meeting about the School Board Budget in he Library at CHSS at 7pm

And on Tuesday March 23 at 7 pm when the SD board discusses School closure.

Bring your digital files of the smoking guns if you wish.