According to a report released on Tuesday, the state auditor says that the Columbus City School District is halfway through the changes needed to put its 3-year-old data-rigging scandal behind it. “This is a very large ship in the middle of doing a 180 — they’re halfway there,” Auditor David Yost said in a news release accompanying the report. Still, the district continues to have problems in accurately documenting withdrawals of students, Yost’s report says.
Michael Dodds, a top-level administrator who oversaw several Columbus City Schools buildings, pleaded no contest to three felony charges on Monday, becoming the fourth district official to be convicted in the data scandal. He could be sent to prison for up to 42 months and fined $10,000 when he is sentenced on Aug. 27. But prosecutors are seeking a sentence of 14 days in jail followed by probation. That’s one day less in jail than Stephen B. Tankovich, the former district administrator who masterminded the data purging, received for his role.
The legal tab paid to a Downtown law firm representing Columbus City Schools in data-rigging matters continued to swell over the second half of this school year. The Columbus Board of Education approved $275,000 more on Tuesday night, to be paid to Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur by the end of this month.
A new two-year contract approved by Columbus City Schools teachers would raise their pay scale for the first time since their union agreed to a freeze in 2011. Pay would rise by 1.8 percent in the next school year and 2.2 percent in the following year. The new contract also would do away with “gainsharing,” the controversial provision in the teachers’ existing contract that awarded bonuses based on students’ proficiency-test scores.
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