by Diane Payne
April brought the Board’s second remote Action Meeting. There were moments of technical difficulty which took several tries to fix–a reminder of how difficult online learning is for everyone involved. Online learning is the mask we need during this crisis. It is not the cure.
Tributes to Resigning Board Members
All nine Board members attended, as did the two student representatives and Superintendent Hite. Minutes of the March Action Meeting were approved. President Joyce Wilkerson opened her remarks with a notice that Action Item 62 had been added to the agenda the day before. This Item calls on the state and federal governments to maintain school funding and not to use the Covid-19 crisis as justification for slashing funding to schools that have suffered for years from inadequate funding. Per the 2016 legal settlement between APPS and the District regarding walk-on Items, anyone who wished to speak was invited to sign up before the voting began via email or phone. Wilkerson thanked the District’s principals in recognition of the May 1 Principal Appreciation Day, and she thanked teachers in anticipation of Teacher Appreciation Day the following week. She noted the Board would appear at City Council hearings as Board of Education candidates on Friday, May 1. Wilkerson bid farewell to Wayne Walker and Chris McGinley, both attending their last meeting as Board members. Maria McColgan read a tribute to Walker, and Angela McIver read one to McGinley. Both Walker and McGinley thanked the Board members and the public they served. Wilkerson concluded her remarks by urging members of the public to join the Board in advocating for all levels of government to maintain school funding.
Seven members of APPS spoke in defense of public education. Remarks can be viewed on the APPS website. Several members of the East Falls community returned to testify against a proposal to allow Laboratory Charter School to move into that neighborhood.