Special Ed Mom Sara Deifucci started this story at the Huntley School District Board meeting on November 5th.
She asked this intriguing question:
“Has the district already purchased anything that parents aren’t aware of? Have you already purchased Read 180 licenses?”
Superintendent John Burkey replied,
“If I FOI it, (will I find something)?” Deifucci continued.
“Do your FOIA (short for Freedom of Information request),” he said.
I don’t know whether she followed through, but I filed one that night.
Here is the summarized contents of the reply (click to enlarge any image):
- Intervention Treatment Proposal for Heineman Middle School for Read 180 and System 44 Materials Purchase
- Request to Purchase Form to Scholastic Inc. in the amount of $57,295.20
- Purchase Order #58187 to Scholastic in the amount of $57,295.20 for 180 licenses, Teacher and Classroom Materials
- Scholastic Invoice #2833847 in the amount of $5,760.00
- Scholastic Invoice #2833071 in the amount of $51,168.22
- Check #065672 payable to Scholastic Inc. in the amount of $57,233.62
It appears from the backup material from Heineman that Scholastic made an offer for 30 Read 180 licenses and 30 System 44 licenses for $57,295.20 and someone was able to convince the vendor to allow District 158 to buy 60 licenses for Read 180 and none of System 44 for the same price.
The heading does not indicate the Read 180 license will be used for special ed kids. As you can see, it says,
“Intervention Treatment Proposal for Heineman Middle School – 60 Below Proficient Students”
The date on the request to purchase form signed by Chief Academnic Officer Mary M. Olson is 8-28-9. On the purchase order, she writes, on 10-14-9, “OK to pay in full.”
On 8-31, Scholastic apparently received a $5,760 bill for what appears to be four Read 180 licenses.
Next in the FOI reply package was a bill for $51,168, apparently for Marlowe Middle School, according to the check stub. It identifies the $5,760 purchase and the $51,168 as coming from “ADA Block Curriculum materials.”
I note one line for $998 seems to be for college prep. At least that’s what “COLLE PP” seems to indicate.
So, what’s it all mean?
I asked District 47’s Community Relations Officer Lorie Woods for a reaction and here’s what she sent:
“The question was in reference to the use of ARRA or IDEA funds to purchase Read 180 licenses, materials, etc. The purchases for which you have copies of Purchase Orders, Invoices, etc. were for the pilot program at Heineman Middle School. Those items were paid for through the ADA (Average Daily Attendance) Grant.”