prepping for the Aug 20th Special Board Meeting

Again, I was eagerly looking forward to hearing about my idea to change policy, and again I have had absolutely no word from either Dr. Wiegand (since my talk with her on Aug 8th) or the Board as a whole and nothing on the agenda to discuss this (as viewed on BoardDocs at the time of this writing). Hmm….. what happened?

I am not exactly sure why this board meeting was called. I know Dr. Wiegand has been planning for it for at least a couple weeks, but nothing has been mentioned publicly about it before today. One of the potentially big things is that Unit 4 will hold a public hearing on the budget next month:

The Illinois School Code requires that at least one public hearing be conducted prior to the adoption of the annual budget.  In addition, the school district must advertise for at least 30 days prior to the public hearing that the tentative budget is available for public inspection.  The advertisement will appear in the August 21st edition of the News-Gazette.  As such, the following resolution sets the time for the public hearing on the 2013 Budget to be 6:00 pm on September 24, 2012.

So we at least have the next 30 days to talk among ourselves and with the Board about the budget, hash out things that we have questions about, etc. I hope we all take advantage of this opportunity. I have never been to a well-advertised or a well-attended Public Hearing in the context of Unit 4. I am hoping that those of you that have can fill the rest of us in. Are public hearings a good time to deliberate? To argue and learn about the pros and cons? We are talking about the annual budget for a school district – no trivial piece of information.

Looking further at the agenda, Dr. Wiegand will also be presenting some follow-up from the Dr. Marzano book study, and I am hoping that there is an opportunity for teachers and staff to share their own opinions as well. Then there are organizational things and something about the expansion of ESL (haven’t read it, yet).

And at the end, the 2nd reading of the proposal to raise the RFP limit from $10,000 to $25,000. I applaud Ileana for speaking up at the last board meeting about the need to get the RFPs more open as an exercise in transparency; unfortunately, there was not much discussion on the topic. I hope the board is able to discuss this a little more.


6 Responses to “prepping for the Aug 20th Special Board Meeting”

  1. G. David Frye Says:

    I have one experience to relate. Two years ago the board held a meeting to discuss possibly cutting back on the band and orchestra programs in the district. The meeting was announced in advance and the meeting was standing-room-only. Due to the number of agenda items and the size of the audience, then-chair Tomlinson restricted public comment on the band/orchestra issue to 6 people – 1 adult and 1 child each from elementary, middle school, and high school. Everyone had the usual (too-short) 3 minutes to say their piece.

  2. charlesdschultz Says:

    Thanks for sharing, G. David. While the 3 minutes was too short, was it an overall positive experience? Did it seem like the public hearing was worthwhile?

  3. The Rabbit hole of Parental Engagement via the Illinois State Board of Education « A citizen’s blog about Champaign Unit 4 Says:

    […] prepping for the Aug 20th BOE meeting, I noticed a URL at the bottom of one of the PDFs in the BoardDocs […]

  4. charlesdschultz Says:

    I totally missed the section on the Social Justice Committee. Perhaps you did, too. Where is that, you asked? Don’t see it on the agenda? 🙂 Try “Superintendent’s Book Study: Dr. Judy Wiegand/Dr. Laura Taylor”. It reads:

    In order to achieve one of the outcomes identified from the Superintendent’s Book Study, the Unit 4 Social Justice committee will convene eight times throughout the school year to create a social justice framework for the District. Open to all, members of this committee will work together to systemically improve our school district’s ability to support student learning through the lens of social justice.

    During the first year the committee will focus on learning about social justice, with members studying relevant literature and engaging in collaborative learning sessions. It is projected that during the spring semester the committee will have generated a common definition and framework for social justice that will be utilized to support District improvement efforts. This includes the identification of specific goals for the District related to social justice.

    “Open to all”. 🙂 So all you naysayers (Karen? Jackie?), I sure hope you see you there so we can all look at the same raw material and hash out our disagreements. And mind you, I expect and invite disagreements.

    What is interesting is that I don’t see where “one of the outcomes identified from the Superintendent’s Book Study” is explicitly spell out. Maybe I am slow. I am just a tad disheartened by the plodding pace of this thing, but perhaps that is best. It will be very interesting to see how this pans out.

  5. G. David Frye Says:

    I would describe the meeting as wildly successful. Everyone there, including the board, felt that it was a watershed event in the effort to demonstrate the value and necessity of the district’s band/orchestra program. One Edison sixth-grader speaking her mind did more for elementary and middle school band than months of board emails.

    Of course, that was two district administrations ago, and I hardly think the issue would even come up now.

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