Last year I came before you and spoke about the need for transparency in the expenditures made by Montgomery County Public Schools. Specifically, multi-million dollar procurements were not being brought before the Board of Education for discussion or votes. While a bill requiring MCPS to make an online database of procurements public was passed, the implementation of that database was delayed for two years.
Last week, you placed bill 18-10 on the Delegation's agenda.
The public hearing on the bill is tomorrow. The bill says it is for;
"a certain investment in a certain company".
Not knowing what is contemplated by this vague legislation, I offer my own suggestion of "a certain investment in a certain company".
Taxpayers have already seen the results of Superintendent Weast's "certain investment in a certain company". As best as the public can ascertain, Superintendent Weast made a $500,000 to $1,000,000 investment in a company called Wireless Generation around 2004. How does the public know that? The investment wasn't brought before the Board of Education for discussion or a vote. The investment was revealed in an article put out by the Harvard Business School.
Did the investment yield a profit for taxpayers? Apparently, not. While no accounting was made for this investment in Board of Education meetings, Maryland Public Information Act requests by members of the Parents' Coalition of Montgomery County yielded some information in 2009. The results of our MPIA requests can be read here and here.
And now the Montgomery County Delegation is looking to pass legislation to make "a certain investment in a certain company".