Scroll down for more info on the new GRAMA REQUEST for the Superintendent hiring process, and the school district’s lack of transparency, along with other detailed info.
For information on specific District Projects & Departments click on the links below:
Budgets– Annual DETAILED budgets and employee salary info. In 2014, our GRAMA request for a full budget was originally denied by the school district, but later delivered after the GRAMA ombudsman assisted the release. Budget discussion recordings, and yearly budget reference.
2015 Wasatch School Bond Info– Click on this link to get all the info on the Wasatch School Board’s 2015 $62 Mil MULTI PROJECT bond proposal. We will keep you up to date on the progress. Stay Tuned!
High School Construction 2009- See how a $59.5 mil bond election turned into a $80 mil high school. Wasatch High School costs, concerns, and state audit on school construction featuring our district. Just 4 years after construction was completed new classrooms needed to be added and an expansion of the cafeteria? What happened?
North School Investigation 2000– Attorney General’s findings on this mismanaged $4.6 mil project, where $1.8 mil “disappeared” without any invoice backup. plus articles.
9-15-16 SAGE TESTING RESULTS OUT! Click Here -See how we compare with SIMILAR schools SLTRIB ARTICLE to explain Homepage to search your school details (change schools and subjects to search)
**** Wasatch 2016 employee salaries and benefits in excel spreadsheet- WSD-2016-employee-salaries-tranparent-gov (you may have to download onto your computer first, then open file)
WTPA GRAMA REQUEST UPDATE- For the superintendent hiring process info. Here is an overview of WTPA’s struggle to have Wasatch School District release public information that other Utah school districts’ residents get to have without a formal GRAMA request.
In June of 2016, Superintendent Terry Shoemaker left WSD for a Utah School Board’s Association position. The school board had a work session May 5, 2016 with a representative of the Utah School Board’s Association, to guide them through the process. The meeting videos are here: Wasatch Taxpayers YouTube page . The school board stated numerous times that they plan on searching nationwide for the BEST CANDIDATE. A citizen committee was formed to review all applications and make recommendations to the board. In 6 short weeks the Wasatch School Board announced a new superintendent (it usually takes school boards about 3 months). Since the public had no info of the top 3 candidates, their qualifications, or who was on the citizens committee to review candidates prior to the final selection, the WTPA decided to GRAMA request the info. We were denied any info based on the “privacy” argument (most UTAH school districts release this info WITHOUT a GRAMA request). We appealed the denial to the State Record’s Committee in Oct 2016, who agreed with us and stated numerous times that Wasatch School District had a “colossal transparency failure”. We have received the documents below, but both the WSD and the SSBA say they do not have certain documents, and the other group does. See our process, and detailed documents below:
12-29-16- UTAH SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION(SSBA) – GRAMA REQUEST response- Since the Wasatch School District said they didn’t have some of the documents we requested and said that the SSBA had them, we grama requested the same documents there. Here’s our GRAMA to the SSBA, and their response. GRAMA Request – Utah School Board’s Assoc supt hiring SSBA GRAMA response 12-29-16
SSBA states, “As an initial matter, USBA does not believe that it is subject to GRAMA such that it is required to provide a response to your request. However, USBA is willing to respond to your request regardless of whether it is legally required to do so.”
We asked where the applications were posted, since the Wasatch School Board said that they would do a “nationwide search for the best qualified”. The SSBA gave us all these docs: 1-WSD supt hiring broshure 2-SSBA posting ad- broshure mailing 3- SSBA posting ad- bus admins 4- SSBA posting ad- Desnews media 5-SSBA posting ad- Dir of Career placement 6-SSBA posting ad- Dir of placement list 7-SSBA posting ad- media list 8-SSBA posting ad- posting website 9-SSBA posting ad- Principals 10-SSBA posting ad- Supts
The Wasatch School District told the records committee in October that they didn’t have any info on the citizen’s committee MEETINGS (minutes and/or recordings) that reviewed the applications, but the SSBA says THEY don’t have them either. What’s going on?
11-23-16 – Update on State Record’s Committee’s decision for Wasatch School District’s mandatory release of info TO THE PUBLIC concerning the superintendent process. Here’s the info that WSD supplied to us.
Here are the released documents from our GRAMA request- see community committee who helped review applications-: supt hiring- selection committee-and-finalists
ALL applications for superintendent: briggs-resume foster-jr-resume frascone-resume garrett-resume lackey-resume asher-resume peterson-resume proffit-resume rawlings-resume schulte-resume sorensen-resume stroder-resume sweat-resume wolters-resume dawes-resume erickson-resume
— WTPA had a hearing OCT 13th at the State Records Committee in Salt Lake City, to formally appeal the Wasatch School District’s DENIAL of all our requested documents on the below GRAMA request for the hiring process of the new superintendent. Here’s the Record’s Committee finding: records-committee-findings-supt-process-10-2016
Jeffrey Hunt, a leading Utah GRAMA attorney, and Cynthia Love of Parr Brown Gee and Loveless agreed to represent us pro-bono because of the severe violation of GRAMA by the WSD. We cannot thank, and recommend, them enough for their expertise, professionalism, and respect of our concerns. We highly recommend them both!
Here is the State Records Committee hearing recording: http://www.utah.gov/pmn/files/253679.mp3 (our hearing starts at 166:00, you may need earphones to hear better)
Here are both our arguments submitted to the committee for the Oct. 13th hearing:
Wasatch Taxpayers Association appeal: APPEAL -to-utah-records-committee for wasatch-sch-dist-supt-hiring
The Wasatch School District’s reasoning to deny the public any information on the process and selection: position-statement-of-wasatch-county-school-district
9-1-16 We GRAMA requested the documents, and information on procedure, concerning the recent Superintendent hiring process that took place in May- June 2016. We were denied completely, based on the school board’s assumption that this process is totally private and the citizens living in the Wasatch School District have no right to know how the superintendent was chosen. Other Utah school districts have shared THIS SAME information with the public BEFORE their school board chose their new superintendent. Ours won’t release the information even after a formal GRAMA request was submitted. We have decided to take this to the Utah State Records Committee for our appeal on October 13th. See what documents and info we requested here: grama-response-7-18-16-superintendent
7-27-16- Our argument, responding to above document from WSD, to release documents (via email):
employment records concerning a current or former employee of, or applicant for employment with, a governmental entity that would disclose that individual’s home address, home telephone number, social security number, insurance coverage, marital status, or payroll deductions;
the name, gender, gross compensation, job title, job description, business address, business email address, business telephone number, number of hours worked per pay period, dates of employment, and relevant education, previous employment, and similar job qualifications of a current or former employee or officer of the governmental entity, excluding:
for a school community council member, a telephone number, if available, and email address, if available, where that elected official may be reached directly as required in Section 53A-1a-108.1;
The list of public records in this section is not exhaustive and should not be used to limit access to records.
*** grama-appeal-judd-response-7-18-16-superintendent Mr Judd responded above, and also sent us BLANK forms that were used in the process. No specific info concerning their process was given on those forms.
8-11-16- Second GRAMA request: wsd-grama-8-11-16-supt-contract
School District’s response (via email): Ms. Taylor,
“In response to the GRAMA request you submitted on 11 August, 2016, I am submitting the following:
1. Criteria used for selecting members of the citizens application review committee for new superintendent search in June 2016.
response: the District does not have an obligation to create records in response to your GRAMA request, and no records exist that satisfy this particular request.
2. Paul Sweat’s EXECUTED full, unabridged superintendent contract. Paul Sweat’s superintendent salary and benefit package.
response: a copy of the contract is attached. paul-sweat-supt-contract-7-7-16The contract specifies the salary and benefit package. The complete benefit package offered to the employees of the District can be found at the following link: http://www.wasatch.edu/page/408 ”
Wasatch County School District
***So, our new NOVICE superintendent, Paul Sweat, starts at a higher salary ( a 20% + increase) than Terry Shoemaker who had 20 years experience.
Sweat 2015 salary Amount:
$105,684.00 (+2,496) + benefits $52K
5-5-16 Superintendent Terry Shoemaker is leaving by June 30th. The school board had a work session May 5th with a representative of the Utah School Board’s Association, to guide them through the process. The school board stated numerous times that they plan on searching nationwide for the BEST CANDIDATE. The meeting videos are here Wasatch Taxpayers YouTube page . Supposedly a citizen committee will be formed to review all applications and make recommendations to the board.
Test Scores and school district accountability reports:
****9-10-15 Recording of State Records Committee hearing to appeal costs of $1500 associated with email request below. Direct link to recording here: http://www.utah.gov/pmn/files/archive/178553.mp3
****8-28-15 GRAMA request- WSD- GRAMA 8-28-15 DANIEL TOWN elementary school lots #7 & 8 purchased JULY 2015- Lot #7 Daniel Estates Lot #8 Daniel Estates 10 Acre piece purchased in 2013- WSD- 525 E. 3000 s Daniel property purchase Also, digital software contract- digital curriculum contract School District denied fee waiver for EMAILS and charging $85 /hr. email retrieval fee estimate 8-28-15 ( This was their charge for 6/9/15 GRAMA EMAIL request- $25/hr WSD-email itemized costs GRAMA response 7-17-15 ) ***Wasatch School District response- In response to the GRAMA request that you submitted on 28 August 2015: 1. Purchase contracts, appraisals, and closing documents for lots purchased on Ranch Dr., Daniel, UT – I am attaching all documents regarding the purchase of lots 7 and 8 in the Daniel Estate subdivision, Daniel, UT.
2. All emails between Superintendent, Business Administrator, and School Board during April, May, and June, 2015 – your request for a fee waiver is denied (see attached.) The process of appealing this denial is included on the attached denial form. The estimated cost for retrieving the emails is attached and payment will be required before the retrieval process is started.
3. All digital device and software curriculum contracts with all suppliers – the contract with the digital curriculum supplier is attached. There are no contracts for the purchase of the devices, and the cost of the devices was supplied to you in the response to a previous GRAMA request. Keith Johansen,Business Administrator
****6-9-15 GRAMA request- WSD- GRAMA 6-9-15 ,WSD- GRAMA response 6-15-15 , WSD- building additions-6-9-15
District GRAMA response: #1 – all employees who have retired from Wasatch County School District and have returned to work since FY2012. Response – there are no employees since FY2012 who have worked for the District, retired, then returned to work for the District.
#2 – real estate purchase contract, appraisal, and closing documents on the Danial property. Response – the documents are attached. There was, however, no appraisal done on the property.
#3 – all emails between the board, superintendent, and business administrator in the last year. Response – your request for a fee waiver is denied due to the excessive amount of time required to fulfill this request. It is estimated to take 60 research hours to fulfill this request. Therefore, at $25.00/hour, the fee is estimated to be $1,500.00. The District personnel who will do this research will not begin the process until the estimated fee is collected.
#4 – all schools expanded or added to in the last 10 years. Response – this record is already available on the Transparency website, but a copy is attached for your convenience.
#5 – improvements to the pool at TIS in the last 7 years, and how much. Response – your request for a fee waiver is denied due to the amount of time required to fulfill this request. It is estimated to take 3 research hours to fulfill this request. Therefore, at $25.00/hour, the fee is estimated to be $75.00. The District personnel who will do this research will not begin the process until the estimated fee is collected.
#6 – total cost of curriculum books, broken down by grade and year, from 2000 to 2013. Response – the District follows the State record retention schedule which requires the maintenance of 5 years of records. So the District will not go back to 2000 as requested. Also, there is no record which would show the cost broken down by grade. However, the financial reports available on the USOE website would show total costs of textbook purchases for each year going back several years.
Your request for a fee waiver is denied due to the amount of time required to fulfill this request. It is estimated to take 3 research hours to fulfill this request. Therefore, at $25.00/hour, the fee is estimated to be $75.00. The District personnel who will do this research will not begin the process until the estimated fee is collected.
#7 – procedure implemented by the District to monitor the effectiveness of digital conversion. Response – the District does not have this record. A governmental entity is not required to create a record to fulfill this request as provided in Utah Code 63G-2-201(8)(a)(i).
***5-28-15 GRAMA request for purchase contracts on the Old High School Property, contract on home at 224 E. 600 S., Heber., and the Maintenance and Operations budgets for Timpanogos Intermediate, Rocky Mtn. Middle and Old Mill Elementary Schools. WSD- GRAMA 5-12-15 – request WSD- GRAMA 5-12-15 – Old High School land to Amsource contract WSD- GRAMA 5-12-15 -3 schools M & O /// WSD- GRAMA 5-12-15 – contract 224 E. 600 S. 224 E 600 So appraisal Appraisal $265,000, school district paid $325,000.
6/3/15-Terry Shoemaker interview on KPCW-Park City radio to explain OUR school district. _________________________________________________________
2-4-2015 Grama Request of documents from the old high school property redevelopment project. WSD grama- 1-29-15 WSD grama response- Asbestos and demolition Redevelopment invoices Mtn America – lot 1 Mtn America -closing doc and contract Mtn America -sales contract _____
2-2014 OLD High School demo public hearing recordings-Wasatch Taxpayers YouTube page Now with this WTPA GRAMA request denied below, it looks like the Wasatch School District has not done proper due diligence if their response to GRAMA request is correct. See what info they are not willing to share with the public.***GRAMA REQUEST DENIED for these items! WSD GRAMA- response demo high school 2-7-14
1-29-2014- Short, not very informative , presentation given to public. No fiscal detail, just estimates of demolition costs and possible increase in value of property WITHOUT the high school on it. Emails were sent to school board from citizens, but were not mentioned at all, let alone read to the public. The public cannot possibly make an informed decision with the information supplied by our representatives at the meeting. No further fiscal info on demolition is on their website.
Wasatch School District already has a plan to redevelop the old high school parcel on Main Street. This plan presented here had to have been initiated months ago, back in November. With UDOT approvals no less, yet the school district just had a public hearing on this on January 29, 2014. Recording of Heber City Work meeting- Wasatch Taxpayers YouTube page
Test Scores and school district accountability reports :
NEW!!!! SAGE RESULTS 2015- DESNEWS article
SAGE RESULTS 2014– Compare our schools to SIMILAR Utah schools
9-1-2013 KSL report of school grades
(also breakdown of school finance, and teacher and administrator pay)
Check your school’s grade! Some have info for 2012 too. Click on “School Grade” tab to see. Wasatch High School 2013 Grade “C” Timpanogos Inter 2013 Grade “B” Rocky Mtn Middle 2013 Grade “B” Heber Valley EL 2013 Grade “C” JR Smith EL 2013 Grade “A” Midway EL 2013 Grade “C” Old Mill EL 2013 Grade “B”
If you want to know how big the USOE is- 2014- Utah Educational Directory
See what training the new school board members get :http://usba.cc/training/pro-development/new-board-members/
****US CENSUS report Of Public Education Finances 2012 (Issued May 2014)
Interesting article on digital conversion curriculum by the NY TIMES.
WSD 8- 16-2007 Truth in Taxation hearing- 49.34% tax increase. Wasatch Wave notice- school tax 8-07
Recordings- Aug16-07 Truth in Taxation Presentation
Impact local radio program AFTER 8-16-2007 Truth in Taxation hearing. (If you need to sign in, username- heberut/password- heber) impact 8-20-07 Part 2 P & B Truth in taxation
WHS COST- updated amount 6-30-2010 (reveals that $6,653,923 are from TAX PROCEEDS from 2007-2010) One month before the 8-16-2007 Truth in taxation hearing Supt. Shoemaker stated in the article “Financial Challenges” here: Wave article -H.S. 6-20-07 that the WSD board would NOT ASK the public to pay for over runs in the high school construction.
Impact radio program with WSD from 2009- impact 5-27-09 Wasatch school district Many fiscal questions and a request for transparency.
2012 GRAMA Requests Filed and denied:
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This website is for educational purposes only, unless it is specifically stated that WTPA has a stance on a specific issue. To the best of our knowledge this is correct information, but we welcome corrections if errors are found.