After just discovering that top ranking district administrators and private vendors effectively fixed a billion-dollar deal ahead of open bidding, this week our school board explicitly voted to thwart uncovering such embarrassments in the future.

It was emails obtained by Annie Gilbertson at KPCC that were two years old which spotlighted the LAUSD administration’s tawdry collusion with private vendors. Had this policy been actually implemented in 2013 as administrators intended (more slipshod performance offered by way of excuse for the excruciating timing of this submitted expenditure), such public information about and between public officials paid for with public dollars, would have been blocked from public view. There would have been no way to discover this malfeasance. And I for one, as a parent and tax payer, very much want our fifth estate to be free to call back into the public’s attention this sort of hanky panky.

All but new boardmember and veteran school administrator McKenna voted to spend nearly $300,000 on Bill Gates’ software (McKenna abstained) that will be programed to erase these public records from the public eye.

Late on Wednesday boardmember Ratliff called for reconsideration of the arbitrary one year erasure policy. But note the software expenditure remains.

Quite frankly, it should be possible to find someone willing to hit the “delete” button every year for less money. Sure the situation is probably more complicated and it’s possible this knee-jerk cynicism is unfair, but it underscores a big, big problem that has developed.

Who could possibly trust anyone in this district’s entire top administration – whether elected, appointed or privately remunerated by corporate power players – to rule wisely on matters of modern technology?

The technology news out of Beaudry has been one long string of increasingly outrageous misdeeds, flitting from immorality to illegality and passing squarely through the realm of incompetence.

Mónica Ratliff’s report from the Common Core Technology Project Committee attempts to mitigate one bad decision following another. To date there has been no legal ruling on the diversion of public bond money commandeered explicitly to address – and promised only to address – decaying district infrastructure. This money was approved supposedly only after express limitations were written to protect it from sticky budgetary fingers in this age of insufficient education funding. By all accounts a decade-long project to computerize the district’s administration has failed spectacularly plunging the district into administrative chaos from jeopardized college admission for an entire grade level to untallied attendance jeopardizing millions in federal dollars to daily on-the-ground untenable situations such as students assigned to the same class for three periods running or assigned to the wrong school or unable to register at all for school or attending a classroom of seventy pupils, and/or classes sometimes skewed of entirely one gender.

Board member Zimmer is correct to invoke Trust as a critical underlying presumption when parents “leave their child at the school gate”. I trust that my child will be safe emotionally, physically and pedagogically. And I trust that my school board will safeguard my child’s needs.

This series of technology and morality snafus is indeed undermining my trust. I trust – but “verify” – the teachers who interact with my children every day. But I cannot know the administration and teams of staff that support the entire district. I trust my school board to secure the superstructure of my child’s education. And when I see them voting to switch off the spotlight of public scrutiny; when I see them failing to hold accountable gross administrative negligence; when I see them excuse immoral behavior; when I see them complacent about untested fads and neglectful of fiscal responsibility; my trust has at last, become seriously undermined.