Vote may rescind Perrys fate


Former City Councilman David Speck was fond of saying that no decision is ever final in Alexandria. Proving that once again, Alexandria School Board member Sheryl Gorsuch formally notified her colleagues that she intended to make a motion to rescind the vote not to renew Superintendent Rebecca L. Perry contract at the Boards next meeting.

The May 21, 5-4 vote, is controversial. Those who want the Board to renew Perrys contract came to Board meetings on May 23 and June 7 to demand that they reconsider. Roberts Rules of Order, which governs parliamentary procedure, allows a member to make a motion to rescind a vote so long as there is proper notice. Gorsuch will make her motion on June 26, at a regular Board meeting that has been rescheduled from June 21 because three Board members will be out of town.

The audits
At that same meeting, the Board will discuss two pending audits: an efficiency audit that was conducted by an independent auditor under contract to the Virginia Department of Planning and Budget and another special procedure to look at F Y 2007 budget transfers, which was ordered by the Board.

Board Member Eileen Rivera raised the issue of the special procedure at last weeks meeting. I spoke to the auditor and was surprised to learn that the report has been ready for over a month, Rivera said. I was told that there is no gotcha or any smoking gun. I am concerned that it has been done this long and we havent seen it.

Board Chairman Arthur Peabody said that he would look into the matter but had no direct information about why the report had not been delivered. Perry confirmed that a Board member had instructed her to pay the bill and she had done so.

Procedurally, Perry said that, in these types of situations, Staff usually sees the report first so that we can correct any mistakes.

Peabody said that he would prefer for the report to be presented to the committee responsible for that type of information. We will invite the auditor to the committee meeting and everyone will see the report at the same time, he said. That meeting has now been scheduled for 7 p.m. on June 18, at the School Boards headquarters.

As to the states efficiency audit, Perry told the Board that she was expecting it at any time but didnt have an exact time frame. When it is ready, it will be transmitted to me electronically and in hard copy and I will get everyone a copy, she said.

A parent, concerned about that same audit, contacted the Virginia Department of Planning and Budget to inquire about when it would be finished. She had seen other efficiency audits posted on the Virginia Department of Educations web site and wanted to know when Alexandrias would be released.

Based on that parents concern, I contacted the State Department of Planning and Budget and learned that the audit was complete and that the auditors were prepared to present it to the Board at the June 7 meeting, said Board Member Scott Newsham.

The parent was told that it was held at the request of the Alexandria school system because of issues related to the superintendents contract. The presentation is now scheduled for June 26.