Pat McCreery (Administrator for Equity & Inclusion) & Don Grotting (Superintendent) of Beaverton School District (BSD) met with an outside vendor called The Center for Equity and Inclusion (CEI) starting in July 2020. The topic was regarding BSD's vision of taking an Antiracist approach, not just through the district, but also to students, parents, and the entire community.
Soon after this initial meeting, they engaged in further conversations to define what consulting & training services would be needed to execute their vision. This then led to CEI's CEO, Hanif Fazal, presenting at Don Grotting’s leadership meeting in October 2020. CEI then followed up immediately with an initial proposal with a price estimate.
The high price tag for the services went well beyond the point that triggers the need for them to put this contract out for open bidding through what's known as a Request for Proposal (RFP). RFP's are meant to ensure, among other things, that public entities spend taxpayer dollars wisely. They are meant to be fair, open processes for outside vendors to try and win business.
The many issues that occurred after this point have been documented and reported to the Oregon Secretary of State Audits Division as well as the Beaverton School District (BSD) School Board. As of mid October 2021, both of these organizations have launched investigations that are still underway.
Below you will find the list of issues reported as well as the initial set of supporting evidence.
ISSUE #1: BSD's Administrator for Equity & Inclusion, Pat McCreery, attempted to bypass the RFP process by breaking up the contract into smaller chunks. This was not successful, and they were told they had to do a formal RFP.
This was just the start of many ethical and legal issues throughout this process.
ISSUE #2: Pat McCreery contacted CEI to inform them of the RFP process they were obligated to follow. However, Pat assured CEI that BSD was committed to partnering with them. This is not only a serious ethical issue, but also a violation of BSD’s Rules & Regulations & Oregon laws governing the process.
The whole point of the RFP process is to bring in multiple proposals through a fair process so th
ISSUE #3: Pat McCreery continued to communicate with CEI to show their commitment prior to the RFP, which is a violation of the procurement process defined by Oregon law (ORS 279A, 279B).
ISSUE #4: Pat McCreery violated the BSD’s Rules & Regulations by communicating and meeting with CEI to help them write their proposal response to the RFP.
During the RFP process, all vendor communication is to go through BSD's purchasing manager. Oregon law also prohibits giving any vendor preferential treatment.
ISSUE #5: BSD RFP eval committee (Don Grotting, Mike Schofield, David Williams, and Toshiko Maurizio) gave preferential treatment to CEI over the other four vendors submitting proposals as evidenced by the scores awarded to CEI in areas where they were clearly weaker.
ISSUE #6: Pat McCreery was responsible for checking the references provided on the proposals and completing a Proposer Reference Form for each. He did not complete a single one of these reference checks. BSD initially refused a public records request to obtain these forms by claiming they were confidential. After filing a petition with the county District Attorney, BSD legal counsel (Camellia Oste
BSD is paying 20-40% more per hour (up to $420/hour for a single CEI staff member) than other districts in Oregon who worked with CEI recently. Perhaps if they had done the reference checks and compared notes with other districts who had engaged with CEI, they could have negotiated this large contract to achieve better rates.
Includes a copy of the formal school board complaint, the RFP that BSD put out to the public, and PDF versions of the supporting evidence for issues 1 through 6.