Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 6 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   

LAUSD Board Delays Vote on Cutting Public Speaking Time

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     (# of views)   No comments
Author 503224
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Carl Petersen
Become a Fan
  (5 fans)

(Image by Carl J. Petersen)   Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -
"https://ballotpedia.org/Nick_Melvoin">The time has come for a new era of transparency and accountability. For too long, parents, students, and taxpayers have been kept in the dark about what's going on in District headquarters"

- Nick Melvoin (2017)

As of Monday night, the agenda for the Los Angeles Unified School District's (LAUSD) Special Board Meeting listed a motion to approve changes to the Board rules that had been recommended by Nick Melvoin's Rules "Committee." Included in these proposed new rules was a reduction in the time allotted for public comment from three to two minutes per person. Much like the selection of Superintendent Austin Beutner, the proposed changes had been made behind closed doors and without public input.

After arriving two hours before the start of the meeting and securing my place as the 46th person in line, I was able to sign up for public comment about the item. However, I was notified just minutes before the start of the meeting that the item was probably not going to be heard. This was confirmed by Monica Garcia as the meeting started and she announced that she was using her prerogative as the Board President to postpone the item until a meeting in June.

While no reason was given for the sudden change of plans, it is likely that Garcia and Melvoin had calculated that they did not have the four votes that were needed to force these rule changes. If this determination was made as a result of behind the scenes deliberations, the conditions were in place for a violation of the Brown Act. Under this California law, which ensures that deliberations of a public body occur in full view of the public, any time members of the LAUSD School Board have a meeting with enough members to constitute a quorum (four), they would have to provide public notice and post an agenda in advance. This would apply even if the meeting was informal or if they met serially, which is defined as "a series of separate communications that ultimately involves a majority of a legislative body".

- Advertisement -

As a result of Garcia's maneuver, the public was not able to weigh in on the proposed changes at this meeting. Under the rules that were in place when Steve Zimmer was president of the Board, the public could have used the general public comment period to make their views known. However, when Garcia took control she declared that comments unrelated to items on the agenda are not allowed during "special meetings." Therefore, the public was effectively silenced on this subject.

When the proposed "Board Meeting Accessibility to the Public" was presented to the LAUSD Board during the March Committee of the Whole meeting, Scott Schmerelson, Melvoin and Kelly Gonez, the three Board members who did not leave early, all recognized that changes needed to be made to the way Board meetings are conducted. Gonez gave voice to many parents when she said that "it is essential to have this conversation." Unfortunately, Melvoin's committee has taken the opposite approach by having these discussions in private and proposing changes that will do the opposite of expanding opportunities for public participation. So much for the transparency that Melvoin promised during his campaign.

________________________________

- Advertisement -

Carl Petersen is a parent and special education advocate, elected member of the Northridge East Neighborhood Council and was a Green Party candidate in LAUSD's District 2 School Board race. During the campaign, he was endorsed by Network for Public Education (NPE) Action and Dr. Diane Ravitch called him a "strong supporter of public schools." His past blogs can be found at www.ChangeTheLAUSD.com. Opinions are his own.

 

- Advertisement -

Rate It | View Ratings

Carl Petersen Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter Page       Linked In Page       Instagram Page

Carl Petersen is a father of five, including two daughters who are on the autism spectrum. His involvement in education issues began when the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) refused to provide services that his daughters' teachers (more...)
 

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Make it a Headline When Trump Actually Tells the Truth

California Senate Candidate Alison Hartson on Education

Three Headlines That Got Buried Last Week

If Money Continues to Talk, We're Screwed

Finding Hope in Florida

Bright Shiny Objects: Trump's Real Art is Diverting Attention

Comments Image Post Article Comment and Rate This Article

These discussions are not moderated. We rely on users to police themselves, and flag inappropriate comments and behavior. In accordance with our Guidelines and Policies, we reserve the right to remove any post at any time for any reason, and will restrict access of registered users who repeatedly violate our terms.

  • OpEdNews welcomes lively, CIVIL discourse. Personal attacks and/or hate speech are not tolerated and may result in banning.
  • Comments should relate to the content above. Irrelevant, off-topic comments are a distraction, and will be removed.
  • By submitting this comment, you agree to all OpEdNews rules, guidelines and policies.
          

Comment Here:   



You can enter 2000 characters. To remove limit, please click here.
Please login or register. Afterwards, your comment will be published.
 
Username
Password

Forgot your password? Click here and we will send an email to the address you used when you registered.
First Name
Last Name

I am at least 16 years of age
(make sure username & password are filled in. Note that username must be an email address.)

No comments  Post Comment

 
Want to post your own comment on this Article? Post Comment