August 7, 2012 Public Comment to Board of Education

Public Comment on Transparency

Public Comment to Board of Education on August 7, 2012

Good evening, my name is Susan Meek and I am here tonight to speak on behalf of the Strong Schools Coalition, a membership organization representing approximately 500 local community members. Last week we respectfully submitted a request to add an agenda item to tonight’s meeting to discuss the education reform efforts currently under deliberation by the Board. We have yet to receive a response from a Board Director.

We would like you to know, the number of emails received from our members and the concerns expressed have only escalated. The lack of responsiveness and communication to the public results in parents and employees relying on rumors or Facebook postings to learn about salary schedules, political push polls, and new policies. We are left in the dark as well as to how precious resources will be allocated. By searching the financial transparency site, we can ascertain that since January more than $63,000 has been paid out to three different political PR firms and lobbyist organizations.

President Carson, we respectfully ask you to live up to your statement that this school board is the most transparent board. We ask you to incorporate a discussion into tonight’s meeting in order to shine light on the education reform efforts that are under deliberation and to explain why the District needs to employ three PR and lobbying firms when schools are being stripped of vital resources. We ask you to hold open discussions in order to honor the students, parents, employees, and community members to whom you have promised transparency.

The public is eager to listen and ready to engage, but are at a distinct disadvantage when conversations are held behind closed doors. Honor the public you serve by increasing the level of transparency in which you chose to operate.

Thank you,
Susan D. Meek
Vice-President Strong Schools Coalition