Genuine Engagement is Missing

By Diane Payne

I am beginning with community engagement and transparency.  The Superintendent listening sessions are a positive first step in engaging community voice in this crucial mission.

However, feedback from these sessions do raise questions.   An instruction to NOT take notes is concerning.  It is reasonable to instruct participants to not identify speakers; it is unreasonable to not take notes.  Instructing people to not share on social media – sharing is normal.   Failing to include introductions in small in-person sessions is off putting at best and non-inclusive at worst.  A non-answer from Board members on how the advisory committee of 11 will be chosen adds to skepticism regarding the transparency of the process. 

Next steps will be crucial.

*The public has to have real access to the breadth of public comments and see that reflected in the subsequent search criteria. 

*Clearly knowing how the advisory committee will be selected is crucial to faith in the process. 

*Building interactive public participation in the final selection and spelling that out now. 

*Remove the disenfranchising & undemocratic speaker cap.

A.I. 12 is a change order for $656,710 bringing the year total to $9,795,576.  I ask again what structural component is built into these change orders to guard against another Ben Franklin/SLA fiasco?

A.I. 21 is a contract with Accenture for $160,000.  APPS testifies regularly about the manipulative relationship of foundations and private boards in making decisions about how donated funds are spent in the district.  On 7/23/20, in concert with Comcast, Accenture made a donation of $63,000 to the district and today, Accenture is benefiting from a paid contract.