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Ethics panel finds Dallas Dance did not make proper financial disclosures

Dallas Dance

Dallas Dance

Dallas Dance

A Baltimore County Public Schools ethics panel has released its findings in a complaint filed against Superintendent Dallas Dance. The complaint [see details here] questioned whether Dance was spending too much time on outside speaking and teaching engagements. Liz Bowie of The Baltimore Sun has a story about the panel’s findings.

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4 Comments on "Ethics panel finds Dallas Dance did not make proper financial disclosures"

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A Parent and Concerned Citizen
A Parent and Concerned Citizen
Unfortunately (or fortunately, for some), the retweet issue (and the drummed up drama about it) served well to bury the real story that was occurring at the exact time of the latest ethics issue. Also unfortunate is that not a single reporter picked up on a little detail from Liz Bowie’s article (maybe not even Ms. Bowie, herself) which is that what the Superintendent said was the intended purpose of the LLC – versus the actual registered description of that LLC – are not exactly compatible. Moreover, that little detail also serves as a reminder of the previous ethics violation for SUPES Academy. What the public does not know, however, is that Dr. Dance also seems to have had a history with a completely different company during that exact time period and yet failed to mention THAT too: Synesi Associates. While SUPES Academy employed Dr. Dance as a consultant and master teacher for current and aspiring principals and superintendents for their professional development (outside of Baltimore County Public Schools), Synesi had its own very specific function for schools within school systems. And while owned and operated by the proprietors of SUPES Academy, Synesi Associates was a completely separate entity with an entirely different mission. Synesi was a company founded by Gary Solomon and Thomas Vranas in 2001 to “…help K-12 institutions assess, determine, develop and implement reform strategies in order to improve student achievement. Our holistic approach to turnaround services provides nourishment and support for financial, operational, and educational initiatives.”… Read more »
Alarmed parent and taxpayer
Alarmed parent and taxpayer

These are complicated connections, but the documents do seem to indicate that BCPS Superintendent S. Dallas Dance indeed was consulting for this additional company, Synesi Associates, LLC. If so, why was this apparently not disclosed (along with his adjunct teaching at The University of Richmond)? What else is out there? Dr. Dance speaks about his transparency. Yet these issues raise enough questions that could be cleared up—for the superintendent, the school board, and the taxpayers who pay his salary—if he were to release his income tax returns. Otherwise, his claims cannot really be substantiated.

The description of Synesi reads very closely like Dr. Dance’s description of his own LLC (cited in the comment above.) And Dr. Dance’s engagement with the company is clearly cited in official documents: http://www.isbe.net/foia/pdf/fy2015/may15/15-353-doc1.pdf (see pages 64 and 65).

Synesi’s links to SUPES and the federal convictions overall are alarming as well. Essentially, these numerous consulting and advising entities and organizations, which tap superintendents for expertise, are too tied up with the companies doing business with the schools such superintendents lead.

bcps parent

Improper disclosures are concerning because it shows that no real effort was made to increase understanding of why they are important for a public official or attention to disclosing properly. Careless.

Concerned

Something is not right here. According to the Sun article cited above, Dr. Dance talked about the origins of the limited liability corporation, saying he “set it up so that the University of Richmond could pay the LLC rather than him directly, but it never ended up being used for that purpose.”

Yet on August 28, 2012, Dr. Dance filed papers to create Deliberate Excellence Consulting, LLC (Company No.: W14868442), which was formed, according to the signed Articles of Organization document, “to consult and partner with school systems, businesses and organizations around best practices to obtain maximum organizational outcomes.”

LLC materials can be found here:
http://charter.dat.maryland.gov/Pages/CharterSearch/default.aspx and search for “Deliberate Excellence”.

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