Lawmakers call for investigation into education commissioner - KCTV5

Lawmakers call for investigation into state education commissioner

Posted: Updated:
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

A group of Kansas City lawmakers is calling for an investigation into the state education commissioner.

The eight representatives and senators issued a statement accusing Chris Nicastro of failing to confer with parents and representatives of students in KSPS.

The statement accuses Nicastro of deceitful and questionable actions regarding the future of the district, saying:

"Many lawmakers who represent the Kansas City School District are concerned about Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro's collaboration with the area business community and her failure to confer with the parents, guardians and representatives of the students who are dependent upon the Kansas City Missouri School District for an education.

Commissioner Nicastro has repeatedly assured lawmakers that no decisions had been made regarding the future of the district, but that apparently is not the case. She told us she would keep us informed on the situation, but that has not happened. Instead, it appears the Commissioner set forth on a predetermined path, which may have included inappropriately influencing or rigging bidding procedures to ensure that an organization supported by the Kansas City business elite was awarded the contract to develop a long-range plan for the district.

Commissioner Nicastro's deceitful and questionable actions, as documented by her own correspondence, raise concerns about her fitness to lead the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The State Board has issued a statement of support for the Commissioner and the process to award the contract to CEE-Trust. Based on emails from the Commissioner, the procedures used to create the RFP as well as those used to score the RFP suggest unfairness and some bias in awarding the contract to CEE-Trust.

It should be noted that while the board supports the decision there is no representation from the Kansas City area on the board.

The Governor has called for the State Board to monitor and evaluate the concerns raised by legislators. It is our opinion that a full investigation by an unbiased and independent outside entity is necessary to foster public confidence and assure that the actions of the Commissioner and the Board are fair and in the best interest of the students and taxpayers of the Kansas City School District.

The state legislature has oversight responsibility for the State Board of Education. Should it be determined by an outside investigation that there was malfeasance on the part of the Commissioner or the Board, it is the duty of the legislature to take immediate action.

We call upon the Governor and the Attorney General to investigate these matters and report their findings to the legislature and the citizens of this state.

State Rep. Gail McCann Beatty
26th District 

State Rep. John Rizzo
19th District

State Rep. Randy Dunn
23rd District

State Rep. Jeremy Lafaver
25th District

State Sen. S. Kiki Curls
9th District

State Rep. Brandon Ellington
22nd District

State Rep. Judy Morgan
24th District

State Rep. Bonnaye Mims
27th District

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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