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CMSD to apply for Distress Commission waiver, CEO presents auction bid and transportation recommendations for BOE review

March 15, 2013: CEO Eric Gordon provided the Cleveland Board of Education with a number of items for review and consideration, including the District’s official response to a letter received this week concerning CMSD’s qualifications for a state oversight commission.

Responding to a letter issued by the Ohio Department of Education this week, CEO Eric Gordon said the District, as part of its authority granted by the Cleveland Plan legislation, will apply for a waiver from State appointment of an Academic Distress Commission.

“Cleveland’s extraordinary reform efforts, and, specifically, the already-developed Plan for Transforming Cleveland’s Schools, is the reason why the waiver option was included in the legislation,” said Gordon. “This alternative to state oversight, made possible by House Bill 525, paves the way for Cleveland to continue implementation of the Cleveland Plan—a plan that is already underway, thanks to the support of Governor Kasich and state legislators on both sides of the aisle.”

In a separate, but much anticipated action, CEO Eric Gordon also shared with the Board of Education results of an auction conducted on March 7 for the potential sale of the District administration building, located at 1380 E. 6thStreet. After an extensive national marketing campaign conducted by CBRE, Drury Hotels submitted the highest bid last week, at $4.83 million.

Board Chair Denise Link clarified for those in attendance that the auction provides the Board with the information it needs to make an informed decision on whether to accept the bid and move forward with sale of the building.

“To make a thoughtful decision about the downtown headquarters, the Board needs to consider the real market value of the property,” said Link. “The public interest drawn during this national campaign and the bid presented, gives us the information we need to make a decision that is in the best interest of the District.”

In other matters, Gordon briefed the Board on the findings of an investigation that began two years ago into matters related to employment practices in the District’s transportation division. Based on concerns that surfaced as part of the district’s whistle blower policy in 2010, CEO Gordon, newly-appointed in 2011, requested a thorough review of transportation department practices by an external investigator.

Investigator Richard H. Blake, at McDonald Hopkins, delivered on February 15, a comprehensive report, with a number of recommendations many of which, the CEO told the Board, are practices that have already been put in place at CMSD to improve efficiency of operation and to ensure the ethical conduct of employees.

Copyright © 1989 to 2013 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 03/19/13 19:14:22 -0800.




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