Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Grrrrr. Where's my paycheck?

Darran Simon and Sarah Carr owe me some loot. Or some props....

C'mon y'all. That front page headline is me-me-me..... me.

I been known about Paul Vallas' Entourage.

There is one thing I'd like to add to the follow up research by Mr. Simon and Ms. Carr.

They confronted the RSD regarding a consulting contract awarded to Cozette Buckney, who was fired in Philadelphia after the City Controller's office uncovered improper billing of the school district for gym use, an apartment, and a rental convertible. She came under fire for simultaneously being employed in both Philadelphia and St. Louis. She was one of Paul Vallas' first hires here.

Simon and Carr obtained a response from RSD communications point-woman, Siona LaFrance:

Recovery District spokeswoman Siona LaFrance said "Buckney had some reimbursements that (Vallas) didn't feel she was entitled to, so all of her reimbursements were denied" in Philadelphia.

LaFrance said Buckney was brought to New Orleans "because she is one of the top labor people in the country and she has done a superb job here."

I'm going to go ahead and call BS on that. I don't dispute that she's one of the top labor people in the country but I would dispute that we need to spend between $1,200 and $2,000 per day for an ace on labor relations.

Because, as Simon and Carr lay out at the top of the article, Vallas' administration of the RSD is something of a test case for top-down management style with no local checks or balances:

As such, Vallas' superintendency could become a test case for a top-down, executive management style for urban school districts, a style unhindered by a local, on-the-ground school board or, for that matter, a strong teachers union.

If we don't have a strong teachers union, why are taxpayers shelling out so much loot to employ labor expert Cozette Buckney?

I would also argue that $2,000 a day to consult is ridiculous. That adds up to $730,000 a year.

That is about twice what Paul Pastorek makes. I would also argue that the current consultant rate of $1,200 a day is also irresponsible. That adds up to $438,000 per year, which is still much more than Paul Pastorek makes.

Paul Pastorek is the highest paid education official in the region. He makes $350,000 per year.

"...it's a unique salary."

The consultant army is putting him to shame, though.


Karen said...

I am now avaliable for consultations.

Schroeder said...

Probably an upcoming blog post, but I recently had a conversation with Anthony Amato, in New Orleans with his family for a visit. He and his wife said they love New Orleans, and would settle here if they could get a job. Maybe they should get into the consulting bidness.

Anonymous said...

yeah those consultants are worthless except to each other. when you would come across one and ask a substantive question (or just 'how are you') they woudl just stare blankly at you. as soon as they found they asses it was time to rotate out. except the inner circle, of course, who don't talk to the public.