Tuesday, February 14, 2017


An education consultant hired by the school district on a three-year contract in 2015 to help implement court-ordered changes related to alleged racial discrimination in student promotion and discipline says the district broke the contract and is not allowing her to finish her work.

Thelma Ramsey of Sage Educational Consultants was hired in February 2015 under a $78,500 contract to work with the district through the end of 2017, according to a resolution unanimously approved by the board at the time.

The hiring was part of an agreement with the Department of Education following a determination by the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) that minority students were unfairly treated. That followed a 2014 complaint filed by the ACLU with the OCR that raised the claims.

Thelma Ramsey
Ramsey addressed the board at its last meeting on Jan. 30 and claimed that the district had breached its contract with her, stating, "Behind the scenes, Sage consultants was told to stand down and essentially censored from continuing work on the items outlined in the OCR agreement."

She referred to an Aug. 26 board meeting where the district's new access and equity policy action plan was presented: "The implementation of the those plans has yet to be realized."

She added that Superintendent John Ramos told her, "the district can't afford to pay you even though the contractual fee had been encumbered prior to his arrival."

"I told them I was censored," she added. "As a community, we have watched the mass exodus of administrators, various racial incidents that obviously continue to occur in several schools that had to be addressed by the board. At this point, the district is in breach of the original OCR agreement and is in breach of the agreement with Sage Consultants."

See the entire meeting HERE. Ramsey's comments are at the 49:00 mark.

Neither Ramos nor Board President Elizabeth Baker responded during Ramsey's complaint, which occurred during public comment. 

But at the end of the meeting, when reminded by Student Board Member Philip Saulean, Baker addressed the claim, stating: "It is my understanding that we have not heard anything new from the Office of Civil Rights regarding our compliance and they are aware of all of the actions that we are taking."

We asked the district for further clarification as to why the contract was not followed to the end of the three years, but they did not respond.