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$25,000 Contracts & Updated Data Available!
Monthly updates to my datasets and a request to help organize and digitize more monthly data
FOIA Gras is a free newsletter run by Tom Hayden (FOIA GRAS LLC) that explores various topics in local Evanston Governance, especially around School District 65 (Evanston/Skokie). I publish and share all my data and reports. Subscribing is free, so please subscribe or share!
Just a brief note to those interested, I’ve updated one of my monthly datasets, which is the digitized version of the District 65 Bills paid. It is available, read-only at the URL below:
How to Use the Data
If you want to look up all the bills from a single vendor in the spreadsheet, you can click the little icon in the column header, click “Clear”, and then type in the name of the vendor you are looking for.
There are also tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet, which link to totals by payee, totals for the corporate Mastercard spending, and the most recent month of data available.
If you have any questions or find anything interesting; please reach out to me: email@example.com
$25,000 Contracts & Digitization
One thing I am looking into is the list of $25,000 contracts that the Board approves on a monthly basis. The District has a list on their website going back to April 2021. I have submitted a FOIA request for periods before April 2021; they are neither included in the Board Meeting minutes or otherwise publicly available. I am waiting for this FOIA to be filled, they requested an extension on Thursday - so I’ll have to wait until the new year.
I am investigating whether the Administration and Board have been compliant with IL School Code with respect to approving these contracts before April 2021 and to the present. I have some evidence that consultants have been paid more than $25,000 without board approval. For instance, I have been unable to locate board approval for any of the payments below and have an outstanding FOIA request (click link to read). But perhaps there were approvals before April 2021 that are not yet visible, so the evidence remains inconclusive until they complete my FOIA requests.
Anyway, here is what this month’s report looks like. These go to the Board meeting where the members will sign off on any documents.
I need some help putting these into the “List of Bills” spreadsheet I use. For example, the below should be two line items in the spreadsheet. I should be able to confirm how much they were paid and whether they were paid more than the board approved spend for and/or if the board even approved the spend at all. If you wan to take this on, drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org and I will give you write permission on the spreadsheet.
Have a great holiday break and I look forward to sending you more dispatches in 2023!