Total School Solutions Wreaks Havoc for Waterford School District As Well

As we continue our series on the impact of former CBO Tahir Ahad and his prviate educational consulting company, Total School Solutions (TSS), it is important to note that TSS has contracts and projects in districts across the state of California and beyond. Their webpage lists as clients, 61 such districts including, Waterford Unified School District.

Waterford is a small town of approximately 8,500 just east of Modesto. On Sunday, March 2, 2008, the Modesto Bee ran an investigative report about fiscal mismanagement performed by their Superintendent Howard Cohen and his relationship with Total School Solutions.

If the name Howard Cohen rings a bell for some readers, it should, he was Principal at Davis High School, and worked for our district for a number of years.

To the best that I can approximate, his time in Davis did not coincide with Tahir Ahad–although accounts vary and that is one thing that is being checked into.

It seems more likely that Howard Cohen who moved on to the West Contra Costa County District met Mr. Ahad there. West Contra Costa County was the location of early TSS contracts and a district that has supplied Mr. Ahad with a number of his non-DJUSD employees.

Nevertheless, the Modesto Bee article describes irregularities in the Waterford School District financial practices. Waterford much like DJUSD now finds itself facing a 10 percent budget cut.

In the meantime a report finds three main areas of unauthorized and/ or unexpected payments:

“Stipends totaling $25,000 paid to two principals over two years, Jose Aldoca and Don Davis

Administrative pay raises of 5.2 percent, including a raise for Superintendent Howard Cohen, that were paid five months before the board approved them

A contract with a Bay Area consulting firm, Total School Solutions, was ratified as a $33,000 agreement to polish the district’s master plan but turned out to be an open-ended contract that cost the district $124,000 before it was canceled with the work unfinished.”

It appears upon hiring Mr. Cohen, who still resides in Walnut Creek and commutes to Waterford (there are questions as to whether or not he works full time), that a number of TSS employees were unwittingly hired as staff or consultants.

The Vanguard has received information that suggests there is more to the situation in Waterford than what was reported in the Modesto paper. Much of it is similar to what happened here in Davis, and what has been reported is merely the tip of the iceberg.

The Vanguard will continue to monitor and possibly investigate this situation as conditions warrant.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

Author

  • David Greenwald

    Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Categories:

Budget/Taxes

100 comments

  1. It appears that wherever Tahir Ahad or TSS go they leave in their wake debt and destruction due to malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance.

  2. It appears that wherever Tahir Ahad or TSS go they leave in their wake debt and destruction due to malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance.

  3. It appears that wherever Tahir Ahad or TSS go they leave in their wake debt and destruction due to malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance.

  4. It appears that wherever Tahir Ahad or TSS go they leave in their wake debt and destruction due to malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance.

  5. Glad to see the Modesto Bee covering the TSS mess relating to the Waterford school district and the corruption that comes with it. Interesting that the Enterprise our local paper has been nearly silent on the incompetence and negligence of former district emplyees as well as Tahir Ahad and his firm TSS relating to our school district. I wonder why?

  6. Glad to see the Modesto Bee covering the TSS mess relating to the Waterford school district and the corruption that comes with it. Interesting that the Enterprise our local paper has been nearly silent on the incompetence and negligence of former district emplyees as well as Tahir Ahad and his firm TSS relating to our school district. I wonder why?

  7. Glad to see the Modesto Bee covering the TSS mess relating to the Waterford school district and the corruption that comes with it. Interesting that the Enterprise our local paper has been nearly silent on the incompetence and negligence of former district emplyees as well as Tahir Ahad and his firm TSS relating to our school district. I wonder why?

  8. Glad to see the Modesto Bee covering the TSS mess relating to the Waterford school district and the corruption that comes with it. Interesting that the Enterprise our local paper has been nearly silent on the incompetence and negligence of former district emplyees as well as Tahir Ahad and his firm TSS relating to our school district. I wonder why?

  9. Cohen sounds like a piece of work, “I think what I did was heroic.”

    Once a person in his position starts traveling down the road of self-praise instead of looking at the impact this is going to have on the children of the school district…it’s over. It looks like he needs to be replaced just like Dave Murphy was replace here in Davis.

  10. Cohen sounds like a piece of work, “I think what I did was heroic.”

    Once a person in his position starts traveling down the road of self-praise instead of looking at the impact this is going to have on the children of the school district…it’s over. It looks like he needs to be replaced just like Dave Murphy was replace here in Davis.

  11. Cohen sounds like a piece of work, “I think what I did was heroic.”

    Once a person in his position starts traveling down the road of self-praise instead of looking at the impact this is going to have on the children of the school district…it’s over. It looks like he needs to be replaced just like Dave Murphy was replace here in Davis.

  12. Cohen sounds like a piece of work, “I think what I did was heroic.”

    Once a person in his position starts traveling down the road of self-praise instead of looking at the impact this is going to have on the children of the school district…it’s over. It looks like he needs to be replaced just like Dave Murphy was replace here in Davis.

  13. Anonymous 7:45 AM – It’s because the Enterprise likes to protect the status quo and doesn’t like to report any wrong doings that they may be involved with.

  14. Anonymous 7:45 AM – It’s because the Enterprise likes to protect the status quo and doesn’t like to report any wrong doings that they may be involved with.

  15. Anonymous 7:45 AM – It’s because the Enterprise likes to protect the status quo and doesn’t like to report any wrong doings that they may be involved with.

  16. Anonymous 7:45 AM – It’s because the Enterprise likes to protect the status quo and doesn’t like to report any wrong doings that they may be involved with.

  17. If you read the Modesto Bee article, the School Board President’s comment is telling, “We didn’t watch things the way we should have.” That sums it up nicely.

    As I have said before, the School Board of any district must keep careful tabs on what is going on, ask appropriate questions when put on alert something is not right – in other words, any School Board has a responsibility to practice “due diligence”.

    Frankly, I now have to wonder how many “open-ended” contracts TSS had with DJUSD, and how much money went down the drain as a result. Does anyone know??? I know DJUSD had to pay for a private consultant to come in and determine where the money went for certain projects. How much did that cost?

  18. If you read the Modesto Bee article, the School Board President’s comment is telling, “We didn’t watch things the way we should have.” That sums it up nicely.

    As I have said before, the School Board of any district must keep careful tabs on what is going on, ask appropriate questions when put on alert something is not right – in other words, any School Board has a responsibility to practice “due diligence”.

    Frankly, I now have to wonder how many “open-ended” contracts TSS had with DJUSD, and how much money went down the drain as a result. Does anyone know??? I know DJUSD had to pay for a private consultant to come in and determine where the money went for certain projects. How much did that cost?

  19. If you read the Modesto Bee article, the School Board President’s comment is telling, “We didn’t watch things the way we should have.” That sums it up nicely.

    As I have said before, the School Board of any district must keep careful tabs on what is going on, ask appropriate questions when put on alert something is not right – in other words, any School Board has a responsibility to practice “due diligence”.

    Frankly, I now have to wonder how many “open-ended” contracts TSS had with DJUSD, and how much money went down the drain as a result. Does anyone know??? I know DJUSD had to pay for a private consultant to come in and determine where the money went for certain projects. How much did that cost?

  20. If you read the Modesto Bee article, the School Board President’s comment is telling, “We didn’t watch things the way we should have.” That sums it up nicely.

    As I have said before, the School Board of any district must keep careful tabs on what is going on, ask appropriate questions when put on alert something is not right – in other words, any School Board has a responsibility to practice “due diligence”.

    Frankly, I now have to wonder how many “open-ended” contracts TSS had with DJUSD, and how much money went down the drain as a result. Does anyone know??? I know DJUSD had to pay for a private consultant to come in and determine where the money went for certain projects. How much did that cost?

  21. Part of being a predator as TSS is, is to come in and take advantage of unsuspecting and naive school districts. Much as predators take advantage of seniors with vulnerabilities in your line of work.

    If TSS had any contracts with DJUSD or if any money would have gone to them directly, it would have been probably a criminal conflict of interest. So I doubt that Tahir would have been so open about his deceit.

  22. Part of being a predator as TSS is, is to come in and take advantage of unsuspecting and naive school districts. Much as predators take advantage of seniors with vulnerabilities in your line of work.

    If TSS had any contracts with DJUSD or if any money would have gone to them directly, it would have been probably a criminal conflict of interest. So I doubt that Tahir would have been so open about his deceit.

  23. Part of being a predator as TSS is, is to come in and take advantage of unsuspecting and naive school districts. Much as predators take advantage of seniors with vulnerabilities in your line of work.

    If TSS had any contracts with DJUSD or if any money would have gone to them directly, it would have been probably a criminal conflict of interest. So I doubt that Tahir would have been so open about his deceit.

  24. Part of being a predator as TSS is, is to come in and take advantage of unsuspecting and naive school districts. Much as predators take advantage of seniors with vulnerabilities in your line of work.

    If TSS had any contracts with DJUSD or if any money would have gone to them directly, it would have been probably a criminal conflict of interest. So I doubt that Tahir would have been so open about his deceit.