Student Achievement and Support Committee Report, December 5, 2019

by Lynda Rubin

In response to repeated public requests, the Board Committees have begun posting the Committee agendas, including descriptions of Action Items to be considered, one week before the meeting. However, 7 new items were added to the agenda just hours before this meeting, 6 of which are charter renewals (including 5 Mastery charters). Yet the CSO had sufficient time to prepare an extensive power-point presentation. We also question how parents and students from all 5 Mastery schools were printed on the official speakers list. How did charter supporters sign up 24 hours ahead of time to speak on Action Items that were not publicly posted until 5 hours before the meeting? 

Additionally, the power-point slides prepared for the District Reports by staff were not posted until the day after the meeting. Board members continue to say that Committee meetings are where deliberation and dialogue take place, and have used that justification for not responding to questions at Action Meetings.  The Board continues to withhold information about charter matters until after the Board votes. How can people ask informed questions with limited information? 

Present: Chair Angela McIver, Committee members Mallory Fix Lopez, Julia Danzy,  Maria McColgan; Student Representative Doha Ibrahim. Leticia Egea-Hinton also attended. Co-Chair Chris McGinley was absent, but did review materials before the meeting and left questions for staff.

Minutes from the November 14, 2019 committee meeting were approved and will be posted on the website.

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Finance and Facilities Committee Report: December 5, 2019

by Lisa Haver

At this last meeting of 2019, the Committee heard updates about abatement of environmental crises and the Comprehensive School Planning Review (CSPR). Content of Action Items under review were neither distributed to the public nor projected during the meeting. The power-point presentations were not posted online until the day after the meeting.

Present: Co-chair Leticia Egea-Hinton, Committee Members Wayne Walker and  Joyce Wilkerson. Board members Christopher McGinley, Maria McColgan, Mallory Fix Lopez, and Julia Danzy also attended.  Co-chair Lee Huang was absent; Walker acted as Co-chair. Dr. Hite, who presented the updates on the SLA/Franklin, Peirce Elementary and other environmental crises sites at the November Committee meeting, did not attend.

Minutes of the November meeting were approved by voice vote.

APPS members have asked when questions raised in Committee meetings by the public, and by Board members themselves, would be answered. In one step toward accountability, the meeting began with updates from senior staff to answer questions asked in previous meetings.

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Finance and Facilities Committee: November 14, 2019

by Lisa Haver

This Committee meeting, the second of three consecutive meetings on this day, presented a great deal of new and updated information.  Committee members answered few of the questions asked by public speakers. Staff presentations were not posted prior to the meeting, nor were hard copies of Action Items provided at the meeting. In violation of the Board’s speaker policy, some speakers were granted more time than others.

Present:  Co-chairs Leticia Egea-Hinton and Lee Huang, Committee members Joyce Wilkerson and Wayne Walker. Board members Julia Danzy , Mallory Fix Lopez, Angela McIver ,  Maria McColgan and Chris McGinley also attended. Minutes of the October 10 meeting were approved by voice vote.

First item on the Agenda: an update on construction at Benjamin Franklin High School that has necessitated the indefinite relocation of both Ben Franklin and SLA students. This brought a rare appearance by Dr. Hite, who is usually represented at Committee meetings by Chief of Staff Naomi Wyatt.

Huang opened by stating that the Board has been carefully monitoring the situation at Ben Franklin. He asked Hite to give more comprehensive report at the Action Meeting.  Rather than respond to Huang’s question, Hite asked Chief Financial Officer Uri Monson to give an update on classroom leveling. Monson gave a brief report and promised more details later in the meeting.

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Finance and Facilities Committee: September 12, 2019

by Lisa Haver

Two positive developments: the acoustics were much better and the Committee members were very responsive to the public speakers.

Present: when the meeting convened at 10 AM, Co-chairs Leticia Egea-Hinton and Lee Huang. Joyce Wilkerson arrived at 10:13; Wayne Walker attended via phone. Angela McIver, Chris McGinley and Julia Danzy arrived later and sat at the head table.   The attendance of other Board members is appreciated, but the Co-chairs should specify who actually serves on the Committee.

The Agenda listed 22 Action Items for possible discussion before the September 19 Action Meeting. No content was included, not even the amount of the contract or grant.  The Committee did address the need to have Items on the Committee agenda at least one week before the Action Meetings. (I reminded the Committee before my testimony that the District, in its legal settlement with APPS on Sunshine Act violations, agreed to post all Action Items at least 2 weeks prior to the Action Meeting.)

Minutes of the June 13 2019 Committee meeting were approved by the Co-chairs.

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