Texas Education

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Permanent School Fund set to drop key overseer

Posted by Texas Education on August 28, 2008

State board’s adviser also bid to be its real estate consultant.
I’ve been following and learning about this Permanent School Fund. I think I’m beginning to understand what it is all about, here in Texas. But, now some disturbing news, looks like there has been some impropriety going on.

The State Board of Education appears ready to fire the investment consulting firm that is overseeing a major overhaul of the Permanent School Fund, the state’s $24 billion endowment for public education.

The education board voted 8-6 last month to start looking for a firm that could replace Portland, Ore.-based R.V. Kuhns & Associates Inc. The vote came after a sharply divided board argued about whether R.V. Kuhns acted improperly in trying to become the school fund’s real estate consultant as well as its general investment adviser.

If, we don’t have enough on our plates right now.

The school fund generates $716 million a year for public education in Texas.

“We’re wasting a lot of time and money and energy starting over with a different consultant,” board member Patricia Hardy, R-Weatherford, said in an interview Friday. “RVK was hired because it had an impeccable reputation, and I still stand by that reputation.”

Again, not liking what I’m hearing:

As part of its duties as investment strategy consultant, R.V. Kuhns in December reviewed the request for the real estate job at the request of school fund officials. Board member Rick Agosto, D-San Antonio, said R.V. Kuhns officials improperly helped the school fund write the request for proposals.

“They wrote an RFP suited to themselves,” he said. “They were not even supposed to touch this thing.”

Here for full story.


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