Yes, it is true the RSB finally posted the meeting minutes and agendas online [click here for site]. It's funny that we have to celebrate such a meager accomplishment. Really, every other school board around Erie county publishes their minutes, and some even podcast their meetings, so why did we have to fight Hamburg's Board so hard? Even with the minutes available, I'm still not happy. Earlier this month the RSB had a meeting and voted all action items under consensus. I still have no idea what those consensus items were/mean. It won't be until after the school board approves the minutes, probably next meeting in April, that we will have the actual minutes to better understand the consensus items. Furthermore, as evident from this blog, the public wanted to openly discuss some of the consensus items. If the public has no idea what is being voted on, how can they have an informed discussion to possibly impact the votes of school board members before they vote? Talk about reactionary politics. Any fan of George Bush would know that preemptive strikes often prevent the future occurrence of terrible actions. A good example of Bush's preemptive doctrine is the Finance Academy. It was openly discussed that the Finance Academy was going to be cut and people came out en force to speak about the merits of the Academy. Poof, no more discussion about slashing Finance Academy. Surprisingly after the February school board meeting there were no more specific cuts discussed at school board meetings, just general numbers at each level. I wonder if Achramo and the RSB wanted to keep the public from discussing the merits of possible program cuts?
Rumors have been flying widely about when Achramo will notify teachers that they are being laid off and it seems as though it will happen some time this month. Interesting that the public was not told what was going to be cut at the March school board meeting. The Board has to approve all cuts, so when are they going to do it? At their March 22nd work session perhaps? It seems as though the real business of the District is discussed at the work sessions. Maybe the Board should have less pomp and circumstance at the regularly scheduled meetings and more actual business. Really, how much time was wasted giving the Board a special showing of the musical at Charlotte Ave? If the Board wants to see the musical, why don't they get in their cars and drive over to CAS and watch it like every other parent in the District? Besides wasting the public time, I would argue conducting the real business of the District in work sessions is yet another violation of Open Meetings Laws [click here for New York Education Laws regarding district meetings]. I hope we will eventually be celebrating the day when the RSB follows Open Meetings Laws and informs the public about the actual business of their District. Oh my, what an accomplishment that will be.