Prepared Text for Board Meeting –
Marc A. Schare
Tonight, I have but one comment.
Two weeks ago, as I’ve done many board meeting in the last two years, I gave a short update on my perceptions of educational issues facing our district. Because one of those issues touched on legislation, one of my colleagues chose to complain and the complaint led to a rearrangement of the agenda for board meetings moving forward.
In a nutshell, I was told by our board President that it was the will of the board that such updates are no longer appropriate in the agenda spot reserved for board committee reports and announcements and that such updates should be provided at the very end of the meeting. I object to this for 3 reasons:
1) This board offers members of the public the right to speak for up to 5 minutes on any subject towards the beginning of the meeting. This right is now denied to the board itself unless the subject fits the arbitrary definition of a “Board Committee Report” or “Announcement”. In other words, it is fine to remind everyone about Pancake Day but a discussion of the time magazine article on Merit Pay in public education or the merits of the international baccalaureate program must wait until the very end of the meeting. I object to the trivialization of the agenda sequence.
2) The original complaint that led to this action was that I spoke about legislation despite no longer being the legislative liaison to OSBA. The discussion of the State of the State address had nothing to do with the role of the OSBA legislative liaison and was, in fact, nothing different than I’ve been doing for two years, however my colleague chose to turn this into a good old fashioned turf war. I object to turf wars on the grounds that they are generally unproductive, so I’m not going to play, but for someone to make the claim that I should cease all political activism with regard to the Worthington School District because it is someone else’s turn to be the legislative liaison to OSBA is as silly as for me to demand that no one other than the finance committee speak about the budget.
3) Finally, it is my opinion that the high honor of serving on this board of education not only carries the right to address the issues of the day, but the responsibility as well. I understand that many or most board members across the state do not share that opinion, and that’s fine, but I take it seriously and will continue to do so.