The Policy Committee discussed and voted to approve board member Grady Akins policy change Board Notification of Assignment of School Administrators (see attached) a few minor changes to wording but nothing that affected its intent
Carol Carter Estes placed the Code of Ethics policy on the agenda because of comments she said were made that NAACP members had a conflict serving on the board. CCE said “ If we are gonna hold some people’s feet to the fire then we ought to get down to the nuts and bolts” No action was ever taken concerning alleged ethics violations of attending atty – client mtgs with NAACP or being a sitting member of the NAACP. Ms Carter Estes brought the recommendation of policy
Section 5. Undue Influence. Members of the Board of Education will not act in any manner that exhibits or may be perceived to exhibit undue influence on the decisions of school system administrators or employees. Such acts include, but are not limited to, pressuring the director of schools in personnel decision or applying for employment within the school system during or within two years of concluding active service as a member of the Board.
Special notation: if a board member has a record of evaluating a superintendent far above average, then that board member will not apply for any position within the school system for the remaining length of time that director of schools has left to serve.
Several concerns were raised by non-committee board members. Linda Pride had concerns with not allowing a former member to apply for school based position like teacher, as did the superintendent, Dr Pride also did not approve of the language prohibiting any board member that gives the superintendent above average ratings from ever applying as long as that superintendant served.
The way it was approved it deleted the Special notation,
Ms Carter Estes said she preferred it to stay in but that the news would misreport it if it was left in.
The term of Two Years was left in even though Atty Debra Owens the system atty advised that she felt it was too long and if it was tested in court they would probably lose.
• The committee did approve a policy change that would allow the superintendant to permit after school activities to take place, weather permitting, even if school had been out due to weather.
• The committee addressed policy regarding placing items on the mtg agenda and decided to continue to allow items to be added at the work session, that does not allow the public to be made aware in time to comment at the board mtg since it is outside the 10 day advance notice.
When asked if they were leaving the rest of the policy in place which includes discussing proposed agenda items with the superintendant prior to the mtg, CCE said “Well, stuff happens” CCE went on to say that sometimes there just wasn’t time to discuss everything with the director. She added it is their meeting and they should be able to discuss whatever they want. The committee ended up adding to the policy “in cases of emergency and time sensitive” needs.
• The committee members also addressed statements to the media.
Committee member Estes stated the need to control who and what is being said to the media citing a policy that states only the chair of the board can speak officially for the board. As support she cited policy 1.503
The release of official news from the system and schools shall be coordinated as follows:
* 1. The board chairman will be the official spokesman for the Board, except as this duty is delegated to others;
She instructed board chair Joe Mays that this was a policy that should be enforced. The intimation being that board members should not address the news media. However that policy goes on to say
* When individual board members or the director of schools express their views on any issue which is in opposition to a view expressed in board policy, they have the duty to make clear that the view expressed is not the official view of the Board or school system.
There is no policy that restricts a board member from speaking to the media any more than speaking to any other member of the public.
Board Members had No Comment after the meeting
keith sherley - news director