Back to public schools main page To the Control Board's order
Government and People
|Contact: Mary Bunn, 724-4289
I will not address the question of whether the Control Board's order today which reestablishes the Emergency Board of Trustees' direction of the DC public schools meets objections of the U.S. Appeals Court in its ruling in Shook, et al. v. Control Board. The plaintiffs in this case will respond later today.
Let me make it clear that [the] Control Board has not met with the Board of Education in official meetings nor has it communicated in writing to review options for increasing citizens' ability to be informed and involved in their public schools. We both have had time to reflect on the options and get advice from others whose counsel we value and we are prepared for a discussion that would serve the public good.
Again, let me make it clear that the Board of Education is ready and prepared to communicate with the Control Board regarding a process for effective oversight of our resources and critical involvement of citizens as policies are developed for their schools.
The current structure of the Board of Trustees is not working. I am the only member that has been elected and I am the only link between the Trustees and the elected Board of Education. Instead of benefiting from this connection to citizens, however, the Trustees have repeatedly failed to provide to me and past Board of Education president Don Reeves personal communications and courtesy copies of materials we should have received officially, both in our roles as president of the Board of Education and in our roles as official members of the Board of Trustees. The elected Board President is treated as a second-class "representative to" the Board of Trustees rather than as a full member with the right to participate in all meetings, to receive all relevant agenda matters in a timely manner and to have at least equal weight in consideration of Board of Trustees positions and recommendations.
The closed door policy of the Trustees serves only the Trustees. We are not under martial law and there is no other rationale as far as I am concerned for a public body to conduct public business in the dark.
Again, I want to be clear that until we have had a formal review of the options and the Board of Education has formally expressed its concurrence, any action taken by the Board of Trustees and the Control Board to unilaterally establish a new procedure, structure and mandate for the Board of Trustees does not have my support and does not represent my position, either as President of the elected Board of Education or as a full member of the Board of Trustees.
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