THE HUNTER REPORT

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ELIMINATING WORKSHOPS -

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NOV. 3, 2011 WORKSHOP MEETING

SEC., (LEFT), DIRECTOR VANCE, CHAIRMAN NEWMAN, VICE-CHAIR WILLIAM JENKINS

CLICK VIDEO CLIP wmv

A SMOKE SCREEN BUT FOR WHAT; BACKROOM POLITICS? 

BY: PAT HUNTER

The word "Workshop" appears on the January 12, 2012 LCBOE Agenda so what exactly does that mean?

On the surface it could mean almost anything unless you were present to hear the comments and discussion that took place a couple of months back (November workshop & December board meeting). I would like to share my viewpoints.

Almost dead last on the Nov. 3, 2011 BOE workshop agenda was "Resolution pertaining to �Appointed vs Elected� Director of Schools" prior to  public comment, and adjournment. State Rep. Jimmy Matlock was in attendance to hear the school board discuss some Resolutions, which will come up in the 2012 Legislative Session and the school board was seeking his cooperation and support (more about that in another article along with Rep Matlock's comments captured on video).

Back to the workshop issue, at least two board members were absent including Craig Simon and Leroy Tate. 

Chairman Scott Newman began by saying that he wanted to bring up an item that wasn't on the agenda click Nov. 3, 2011 LCBOE Workshop Agenda. There had been some discussions on whether or not to have workshops every month, he commented. He thought that (new director) Jason Vance was doing an excellent job of keeping the board informed through "e-mails, phone calls or whatever." He was also concerned that twice a month school administrators were attending meetings (workshop and monthly business).

(Center) Chairman Newman glances at clock

We've already been here for an hour and had a lot of discussion and it will be discussed again next Thursday as he glanced at the clock. 

He suggested that the board look into "doing away with our workshops" for a couple of months to see how it works out. 

(NOTE: See related article below for comments from school board members (Shaver and Russell) who spoke in support of keeping the monthly workshops.)

Why weren't rules, policies, and procedures followed since this matter was not placed on the Nov. 3, 2011 workshop agenda prior to sending out the agenda to the board, public, and press?

Why weren't Robert's Rule of Order Parliamentary Procedures followed to add "Workshops" to the Nov. 3rd Workshop agenda at the beginning of the meeting instead of waiting until the end of the meeting?  From a glance, the public had no idea that the school board Chairman would make his pitch about doing away with the workshops. 

All policy changes are also supposed to first go before the Policy Committee for discussion and recommendation to the full Board but that has not been done yet. This begs the question, isn't following the rules important to the Chairman, and Board?

So far, two school board workshop meetings have been cancelled, October 6 and Dec. 1, 2011.

In past years, the school board did much of their leg work in committees but since September, the Chair has named only two committees, Policy, and Maintenance/building/transportation. Chairman Newman did not name a Budget Committee leaving it up to the director to work on the proposed FY 12-13 budget. This fiscal year, Director Vance recommended an operating budget with over $200,000 in the red before the school board made cuts and balanced the budget using some Obama money. CLICK LIBERAL VAN

You learn a lot with open discussions at workshop meetings. It's an opportunity for the school board to discuss matters and ask questions. It also gives board members a chance to follow-up on matters before the board vote the following week. This also gives the public an opportunity to learn more. Why would some board members want to limit the public's right to know? There's also another big concern -- the possibility of some school board members discussing and deliberating school matters outside of public view (Open Meetings Law).

See Related Articles:

News Herald- "Loudon County School Board: Business as usual" click http://www.loudon.xtn.net/story/12168

News Herald-"A Board divided: Board of Education members continue to point fingers" click http://www.loudon.xtn.net/story/12278

click News Herald Nov. 6, 2011 - Loudon schools ready to celebrate  includes Eliminating Workshops

click  November 3 Workshop Notes/Minutes

 

LOUDON   COUNTY   BOARD   OF   EDUCATION

 BOARD MEETING AGENDA

January 12, 2012

  7:00pm

 Courthouse Annex

           

 

               Opening of Meeting � Chairman Newman

               Pledge and Prayer � Director Vance

 I.            Approval of Agenda � Chairman Newman

 II.          Steekee Presentation

 III.        Student Representatives Reports

               a.           Greenback High School � Haley Hampton

               b.           Loudon High School �Corrine Nief

 Recognition of Visitors:  This is the time for anyone who wishes to address the Board about any matter on the agenda or not on the agenda.  (This time is limited to a total of 30 minutes for comments.  Anyone wishing to address the Board should limit his/her remarks to allow for others.)

     

 V.          Approval of  December Minutes

 VI.         Approval of Director�s Evaluation Model

 VII.     Approval of Policy Committee Recommendations

 VIII.     Approval of Budget Amendments

          

IX.         Workshops

 

X.           Construction Bids Update

 

 Recognition of Visitors:  This is the time for anyone who wishes to address the Board about any matter on the agenda or not on the Agenda.   (Anyone wishing to address the Board should limit his/her remarks to allow for others.)

 

 

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01-11-2012