Does CCISD even try to control spending?

Clear Creek ISD has a spending problem. Much like a drunken sailor on shore leave, CCISD finds a way to spend as much as possible. Or maybe it’s more like a college freshman given Daddy’s Platinum card for “incidentals.” Either way, CCISD doesn’t seem to care about what it spends.

Let’s take Agenda Item #17 on the June 24, 2019 Board of Trustees meeting. This item, Consider Approval of Renewal of Contract 2017.604 Instructional Materials, on its surface seems perfectly reasonable. But look closely; Paul McLarty is asking for nearly double to renew this contract.

If it weren’t for Trustee Scott Bowen, this item, like the rest of the items on the Consent Agenda, would have gotten passed quietly and with little fanfare, never mind that it’s a $3 million increase from last year’s contract. That’s $3 million that could be going toward training Special Education professionals, per the Gibson report. Or $3 million that could be going to training CCISD employees on how to properly retrieve surveillance video.

So the question is, how often does this happen? How often does Mr. McLarty come asking for a lot more money, and the Board of Trustees gleefully rubber-stamps it?

Going through the Approvals for contract renewals made our heads spin. CCISD would spend significantly less for a contract, such as for Promotional and Recognition Merchandise (spent in 2018-2019: $308,787 out of $450,000), but Mr. McLarty will ask for the same amount of money for next year. Mr. McLarty will ask for $50,000 more for bulk paper. Paper.

But it gets better. It’s not like CCISD doesn’t have a grossly bloated technology budget already. But Mr. McLarty has no problem asking for an additional $450,000 for more computers (approved UNANIMOUSLY by Trustees Rander, Reed, Sanchez, Hammond, Broddle, DuPont and Cunningham). That works out to $880 per desktop computer. You can get HP All-in-Ones (that include monitors) for $400 each.

And it wouldn’t be CCISD without at least one contract renewal being almost doubled.

We discovered so many asks from Mr. McLarty that we have to wonder, where does the money go? Why did we need the 2017 bond? Or is the money being funneled somewhere else?

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