The Half a Million Dollar Question

Categories: Education
Can you break a million?
Dr. Robert Kimball, a frequent questioner of many of the Houston Independent School District's operations, has been after it for weeks now to provide him certain documents relating to communications between and among the school board, the administration and representatives of Community Education Partners, aka the private alternative school where HISD dumps its troublesome kids (and recipient of $17 million a year from the district to do so). Kimball became even more frustrated this week when he discovered that various board members and the superintendent himself had never been asked by the district for the information he requested. So he wrote some more e-mails to the district and to the state attorney general's office in complaint. In response, he got a doozy of a letter from Hans P. Graff, assistant general counsel of Legal Services for the district. Bringing new meaning to the term "checkbook journalism," Graff estimated the cost of reviewing back-up tapes to find e-mails that Kimble is certain exist but the district cannot produce at "about $459,000 for one year's tapes." The truth is out there. Kimball's bank account is probably not big enough to get to it though. — Margaret Downing
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