**Editor’s Note: After overwhelming feedback, we posted links to the source documents below.**
“In fall of 2020, KTEC (Kenosha School of Technology and Enhanced Curriculum) leadership presented to district administration the idea of expanding KTEC to include a high school. Upon review and evaluation, it was determined that the proposal did not address a need in our community and instead was a duplication of services and opportunities already offered to KUSD students….” This was the statement released to Kenosha County Eye from KUSD about the proposed new high school. Angela Andersson, the principal of KTEC, a K – 8th grade charter school, put forth a terrible proposal according to top KUSD administrators, some being very blunt about just how bad they thought the idea was. In total, 15 KUSD administrators including then-superintendent Sue Jarvis and current superintendent Beth Ormseth opined on the need for this type of high school. The members’ feedback was anonymous.
Only 1 out of the 15 members thought the model and mission’s uniqueness was clear, identified, and addressed, and only 1 out of 15 thought it provided a clear and identified need to the community. Only 2 out of the 15 members thought that Andersson would consider input from parents and other community members. A recent survey given to teachers at KTEC, showed a trend of non-confidence in Andersson’s leadership.
KUSD Says “Not In Our District”
During Andersson’s presentation, she made it clear she was moving forward with the school “no matter what KUSD’s decision was.” This comment seemed to irk at least four members. One member said “I was put off by the comment that KTEC plans to seek an outside authorizer should KUSD decline their proposal.” This member even argued that KUSD likely wouldn’t allow Andersson to be the principal of both schools as she (Andersson) wants. Another member of the review team said “The KTEC team affirmed that if the district does not support the charter they will seek a partner outside the district. This raises many red flags including that this proposal was developed by district employees and hence intellectual property of the concept and KTEC name would need to be explored.”
Sources close to KUSD administration are thinking that Andersson plans to ditch the K-8 school and KUSD all together, and work only for the high school. Another comment made was “What organization expands when we are losing kids?” Another administrator seemed to take some of Andersson’s comments personally, saying “We certainly have some imperfections as any large organization does, including segments of staff members that find fault in everything and make a scene anytime they do not get their way on an issue, I would not have expected a statement like that (i.e. basically saying that if I don’t get my way on this I will look to go elsewhere) to come from (Andersson) who is someone that I have always respected. This was very disappointing to say the least.”
Perhaps the most critical comment, “Overall, I would highly discourage the KUSD School Board to entertain this option, as it seemed to be developed not with a goal of addressing a DISTRICT need, but rather a misrepresented need for a very select group of students. This proposal is not district equity, this proposal is not addressing a district need, this proposal is not without serious consequences to the greater district. If KUSD does have 5MM to spend, is this the greatest area of need to commit those funds towards? My answer would be a clear ‘NO’.”
A KTEC parent we spoke to said that Andersson has put the K-8 school on the “back burner” and is ignoring parent concerns. She told us that Andersson “took her ball and went home. She didn’t like that all 15 members gave her scathing criticism so she is trying to find someone else to sucker into paying the bill.” That is exactly what Andersson did. She applied to the UW system and was awarded a grant of $900,000 to implement KTEC High School to open in the fall of 2022. Our sources tell us that even with this grant, they are about $4.1MIL short. The school can’t proceed without sufficient funding.
KUSD Money Being Spent on High School?
Another KTEC Parent tipped us off that Andersson was spending many thousands of dollars to an expensive marketing firm, Dooley and Associates – ran by Jenifer Dooley-Hogan. This parent suspects that the marketing being done by Hogan for $120/hour is for the High School. The K-8 school has a waiting list every year, so marketing isn’t needed. KUSD spokesperson Tanya Ruder told the Kenosha County Eye that if KUSD funds were being spent on the high school it would be “improper”. We asked Dooley if she was working on the new high school project and she didn’t answer. Reached by email, Andersson told us that she spent the money to market the K-8 school but wouldn’t say why the money needed to be spent, even with a waiting list. As of July, KTEC spent just shy of $7,000 on the new marketing.
Rubber-Stamping Governance Board?
Steve Davis is the president of the KTEC Governance board. It is a board that oversees the school and is created by state law. It is widely known by the KTEC community that this board generally doesn’t question Andersson and approves the actions she wants. We spoke to a former member of the board that resigned because of this very reason. We wanted to ask Davis why he was so adamant about moving forward with the high school even as a non-KUSD entity. We reached him by email and phone and he didn’t wish to answer our questions. Davis has unsuccessfully ran for the KUSD school board at least twice.
It is not clear if this school will move forward or what sending students to a non-KUSD school will mean. Will there be tuition? Will the new school be able to use the name “KTEC”? Will Andersson quit KUSD and run the High School only? Andersson disagreed with 15 KUSD administrators who are the experts on education. She thinks she can prove them all wrong. Time will tell.