SO-Maplewood Board of Ed Hires Equity Consultant to Address Discrimination Suit

by The Village Green
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The South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education approved a resolution last night awarding a $78,500 contract over a three-year period to Sage Educational Consultants of Maplewood, NJ.

The resolution (3246P) states that the contract is for “educational equity consultant services.” The hiring of an equity consultant was made as part of an agreement reached over a complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR). The consultant will work to help the district address the underrepresentation of African-American students in high level classes identified in the complaint.

The contract runs from February 1, 2015, to December 30, 2017, in three phases: Phase One (February 1, 2015 – December 30, 2015) for $25,000; Phase Two (January 1, 2016 – December 30, 2016) for $25,000; and Phase Three (January 1, 2017 – December 30, 2017) for $25,000. Additional services associated with disciplinary equity will cost $3,500.

The resolution states that “A Request for Proposal (RFP) was issued on December 22, 2014 and returned on January 15, 2015. [Fifteen] copies of the RFP were requested by external parties and 11 employees requested a copy.” The school district received three proposals:

  • Sage Educational Consultants $ 78,500
  • Ritu Pancholy $130,000
  • Pollins and Associates, Education Specialists, LLC $385,400 ($699,900 alternate proposal)

More information on the RFP and the bids can be found here.

The resolution states, “The process included a request for proposals followed by interviews. Interviews were held on January 22, 2015. The proposals were rated on advertised criteria and the panel agreed upon Sage Educational Consultants.”

Board of Education President Wayne Eastman reported that Thelma Ramsey is a principal in Sage. According to LinkedIn, Ramsey is a Maplewood resident and an Assistant Principal in the East Orange School District.

The resolution was passed unanimously and without discussion as part of a package of action items on the Board agenda.


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