The Real Discussion Happens in the Dark
A pre-meeting executive session has occupied the Tiverton School Committee for the past hour and fifteen minutes. About twenty minutes ago, Chairman Jan Bergandy and Vice Chairwoman Sally Black stepped into the auditorium to announce that a discussion of legal issues related to the budget would delay them for another fifteen.
Although my reader-funded high-speed Internet makes my entire office essentially mobile, I do wonder whether there ought to be some sort of start-time clause in public meeting laws.
I’ll admit that it was kinda neat to sit in an empty auditorium for forty-five minutes. (The teachers who are no in the room with me were hanging out in the lobby area.) Pleasant memories of practicing piano in a mostly dark auditorium during study hall seventeen years ago.
And here comes the committee…
The budget discussion has begun with the pivotal nature of state and federal aid. Supt. Bill Rearick suggested that everything is speculative until those numbers are in. (Of course, he was a bit less circumspect when telling the Sakonnet Times that children are going to be hurt.
About eight of the 24 or so teachers in the room left when the agenda moved on from the budget to the district’s strategic plan. Just sayin’.
And that’s it. Short meeting… once the waiting was over. Of all of these meetings that I’ve attended, this was by far the most promotional of the students’ activities. That’s a good thing, and prudent, too, given the realities of budget formation. For one thing, it shows an increased appreciation for the importance of bringing the community into the various processes.
The next step should be to find ways to increase the percentage of per-student spending that goes toward such activities.