Thursday, February 19, 2009

A little out of synch?

Tonight the Rapid City School Board of Education is set to approve the District Improvement Plan. This document, required as part of the No Child Left Behind Process, is the closest thing the Rapid City School District has to a real strategic plan.

However, the public was not allowed to review a draft of this document; it simply was not available, although the plan was on the school board agenda two weeks ago.

Former school board member Eric Abrahamson tried to get a copy, even today, the day of the meeting... (I'll let him take it from there):
I called Katie Bray’s office today to get a copy of the District Improvement Plan that the Board will be voting on tonight. First I was told there were no copies (despite the fact that this was apparently on your agenda two weeks ago.) Then Katie called and left me a message saying that the public is not allowed to have copies before the meeting because the Board has not adopted the document.

Not exactly giving the parents and public a chance to provide input to the priorities for our schools!!!

Quite disappointing.. but the Governor and Legislature are not exactly setting the bar very high with THEIR approach to public access to government information in South Dakota.

Tonight the school board approved the District’s Improvement Plan. I asked the Board to delay its approval, publish the document as a draft and give the public the chance to read the document and provide comment. The Administration told the Board that if they delayed the District might not receive its federal funding.

Further discussion revealed, however, that the District is already 19 days late in turning in the document. One reason the District is late is that the Board deferred a decision on the Plan at its February 5 meeting because some Board members were concerned that spending plans articulated in the District Improvement Plan did not line up with the ongoing budget discussion. Answers to these important questions were not provided tonight.

The Board will have a special study session this Saturday to discuss budget issues. The meeting begins at 10:30 am at the School of Mines & Technology in Room CB 309.

The document is online at: (pdf file)

1 comment:

  1. Secret government? In South Dakota?
    No bid contracts? In South Dakota?
    Secret plans to control people? Secret lists of troublemakers?
    Secret South Dakota.