APPS members look forward to working with Chairwoman Wilkerson in making sure that no matter this administration brings, we will work together to protect public education.
Sunshine Act: We are optimistic that the SRC will become more transparent and not just pay lip service to community engagement, but actually practice it. The first step in that was the SRC’s negotiating the settlement to the Sunshine Act complaint filed by APPS in November 2014. This is a commitment to honor the letter and the spirit of the Sunshine Act, that all people have a right to know what their government is doing, and have a reasonable opportunity to speak on any law or resolution before it is passed.
Of course, no member of the public has a reasonable opportunity to speak on resolutions which are blank, which have only a title but no content. I ask the Chair to please address this issue. City Council, which is elected and accountable to its constituents, provides several opportunities for the public to be heard on every bill, and no bill is ever released with its content deleted. The SRC should adopt a similar policy.
Charter renewals: We ask the Chair and the SRC to inform the public of what is happening with the Aspira, Universal and Mastery Charter renewals. They have been postponed, without explanation, for seven months. Are private negotiations still being conducted with Aspira and SRC members? Are private negotiations being conducted with Universal? The SRC has yet to explain why it has rejected the recommendations from its own CSO not to renewal these charters.
Marianne Kennedy: I am here to speak again, not in defense of Marianne Kennedy, because she can’t defend herself against charges which have not been leveled. Again, no matter what side of an issue we are on, I believe that everyone at that table believes in justice and the rule of law, not personal or political retribution. The woman has not been charged. The SDP has done no investigation. It is willfully ignoring evidence given to them in written statements from several witnesses. The SRC and Dr. Hite are basing their actions on the opinion of a low-level bureaucrat at another agency after an unfounded accusation was made by an unidentified person. It is not possible for me to believe that the SRC and Dr. Hite would knowingly destroy the career and reputation of this dedicated teacher based on absolutely no evidence. Madame Chair, I call on you to withdraw this resolution and return this teacher to her school and to the students whom she has served for over ten years.