The Legislative contract Review Committee meets March 2 to look at contracts various departments want approved.  You can see the agenda here.

Take a look at page 7 and you see a contract for $762,000 to Northbay Strategic Partners LLC of Birmingham to provide “professional services regarding education intervention efforts.”  Since the only intervention underway is in Montgomery County, this contract obviously pertains to this effort.  Sources tell me the “service” is all about handling the system’s financial affairs.

And here is where it gets funky.

According to info on the Secretary of State website, Northbay was formed on Jan. 26, 2017.  So we want to give a contract of $762,000 to a company that is only one month old.  Also according to info from the Secretary of State the registered agent for Northbay is one Jason W. Taylor.

Oddly enough, the Chief Financial Officer for the Huntsville City school system is also named Jason W. Taylor.  Granted, there may well be about a zillion Jason W. Taylors walking around.  But how many of them are a large school system CFO?  Or how many might have the qualifications to seek a contract with the state department of education to provide financial services for a large school system.

For the record, Northbay occupies an office in Birmingham at 1910 First Avenue North.  This is also the address for 14 other companies. The registered agent for seven of them is Gerald D. Colvin.  Williams D. Friend is the registered agent for another five.

Like the $536,000 contract for Class Measures of Massachusetts the review committee has put on hold, members of the state school board apparently have not been told about this $762,000 one either.

Which all leads us to collectively ask, “Just what is the world is going on?  Who is running the show?”  By law the state school board is responsible for overseeing the department of education.  But that hardly seems the case.  Instead it is evident that they hired a state superintendent last summer who is not communicating with his board and certainly not asking their approval for spending very large chunks of money.

What to do?

Since the buck stops with the state school board, not the superintendent, I suggest you contact the members of this board, who are after all elected officials being paid with tax dollars, and ask for some answers.  Isn’t that what accountability is all about?

Jackie Zeigler         

Betty Peters          

Stephanie Bell      

Ella Bell                 

Yvette Richardson

Jeff Newman        

Cynthia McCarty 

Mary Scott Hunter