Who is to blame?

RE: Article on $13 million error, resulting $100K fine.

The article stated the error was due to a previous administration and not related to the current administration.

I’m unsure on the timing of the contract submission – it’s an annual review.

The current superintendent has been in place for 16 months. The new policy was approved after the former superintendent left Hays CISD. The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) would have provided the information to the provider in 2017 and 2018 – the same CFO that served the current administration until she recently resigned.

What wasn’t noted in the article was the previous administration’s dedication to implementing the Tyler Munis Enterprise Resource Platform (ERP). The former systems at HCISD had been used since 1983. The Munis system allowed human resource, finance and other systems to be integrated for the first time, allowing the error to be uncovered. Prior to this electronic system, performance reviews were boxed up at campuses and collected for storage.

Implementing TalentEd to track the hiring of staff was a game changer for Hays. We were in the proverbial dark ages until the ERP was put in place from 2015 to 2017.

There is plenty of blame and credit to go around. Is it reasonable to blame a prior administration for a budgetary miscalculation when systems didn’t link together with data needed? The district was lucky the prior insurance provider didn’t conduct audits of data provided. Change often creates these opportunities to improve. It doesn’t bode well that the current administration and board’s first big issue resulted in finger pointing for a problem that occurred under their watch, especially since the new insurance contract was not approved during prior years and the same CFO from both administrations provided the data that led to the error.

Do we expect our administrators be perfect? That’s not what we expect of our students, is it? When a mistake comes up with the current administration, we shouldn’t blame them and put their heads on a spike. We’ve had 90% turnover of the executive cabinet with only the chief information officer and chief information technology officer remaining. We need to support staff when they make mistakes, learn from them, and not repeat them.

Holly Smith Raymond
HCISD Trustee 2012-2018
Hays CISD Class of 1996

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