Promethean Board Mystery Procurement

Montgomery County Councilmember Michael (Mike) Knapp on the Promethean Board purchase made by MCPS COO Larry Bowers:
"At a time when we have limited resources, the school system had locked us into certain expenditures we couldn't afford..."  Gazette; Wednesday, September 9, 2009
    3,300 Promethean Boards (2008) in Montgomery County 
Public School buildings.  Where did they come from?

Promethean Boards were ordered for MCPS administrators on September 26, 2007at a cost of $11,256.  Click here to view purchase orders.   This purchase was not reviewed by the MCPS Board of Education.  These boards are not used in classrooms and are for the sole use of MCPS administrators in the Carver administration offices.

2,600 Promethean Boards were ordered by MCPS  on June 12, 2008, under a lease agreement with Dell Financial Services.  The lease was signed by MCPS COO Larry Bowers and is a 4 year term with an option to buy at the end of the 4 year period.  Included with the lease documents is a June 9, 2008 (FIRST VERSION) memo from the Superintendent to the MCPS Board of Education on the plans to expand implementation of Interactive Classrooms.   Click here to view the lease, purchase order and first version of June 9th memo from Superintendent. The annual lease payment for these boards is $3,355,400 per year for a total 4 year payment of $13,421,600.  There was no MCPS Board of Education approval of the terms of this lease or the purchase of Promethean Boards. (Documents received via a Maryland Public Information Act request to MCPS.)

On June 23, 2008, the MCPS Board of Education approved a one year lease payment to Dell Financial Services for the lease of computers, associated hardware and services from Dell Marketing, LP for $5,000,000 .  There is no mention of the purchase of 6,  2,600 or 3,300 Promethean Boards in MCPS Board of Education minutes. The contract with Dell Marketing, LP has not been made public. It is not known what this $5,000,000 lease payment covered.  What is known is that the Board of Education approval of the June 23rd lease payment to Dell Financial Services came after the June 12th execution of the lease and purchase order for 2,600 Promethean Boards.

700 Promethean Boards are not accounted for in the above purchase orders.  There is no public information that details when or how these boards were purchased. 

November 26, 2008 Letter to County Council Education Committee Chair Valerie Ervin from Superintendent Weast with attachments. The cover letter is stamped 039369 and stamped with an apparent receipt stamp of 2008 DEC 11 PM 2:09.  The attachments include a November 26, 2008, memorandum from Superintendent Weast to the MCPS Board of Education on Promethean Board purchase, and a June 9, 2008 Memo from Superintendent Weast to MCPS Board of Education on Promethan Board Expansion. This is the SECOND VERSION of the June 9, 2008 memo.  Document received via a request from a citizen to a Councilmember's office. 
January 7, 2009 Memo from Superintendent Weast to MCPS Board of Education titled: Responses to Board Members' Follow-up Questions on Promethean Boards. This memo refers to a Maryland Education Enterprise Consortium (MEEC) agreement. The MEEC agreement was not included in the memo to the Board of Education. A request for the MEEC agreement was made via a Maryland Public Information Act Request, but the agreement was not produced by the MCPS Public Information Office. MCPS only produced the MEEC Request for Proposal (RFP) which makes no mention of Promethean Boards. For your information, the first page of the MEEC RFP is included in the link to the January 7, 2009 memo. Note that the MEEC RFP that was allegedly connected to the purchase of the MCPS Promethean Boards in June 2008 was issued September 22, 2006.
February 2, 2009  Memorandum from County Council Education Committee staff on Promethean Boards in Montgomery County Public Schools.  This includes the November 26, 2008 Letter from Superintendent Weast to Councilmember Ervin (above) however, Attachment B of this letter is now the FIRST VERSION of the June 9, 2008 memorandum to the Board of Education.  The Weast memo that was originally sent to Councilmember Ervin on November 26, 2008 has been switched to a different version!
February 23, 2009  WTOP's Kate Ryan reports on today's County Council Education Committee meeting to discuss the appearance of 3,300 Promethean Boards in MCPS classroom in August of 2008. Hear the reports: Superintendent Weast on "parsing words" and BoE President Brandman on Board's "intention".