If you’d been watching the Board Meetings, you’ve seen Wendy McCord speaking out about the numerous and continued policy violations of our Board. For those of us who care about the law and following policies, this should be a real eye-opener. Here’s what Ms. McCord had to say at the Board of Education Meeting Thursday night:
This Board of Education has NO checks and balances on it from outside, other than the ability of the citizens to elect new board members every two years. The laws that protect the public from unethical board members meeting in secret to plan concerted actions outside of the public eye have very few teeth. And when a board has a similar-minded attorney in their pocket, much information that should be available to the public can be shielded from disclosure.
Therefore, the only watchdog on the Board is the Board itself. Jeffco School District has many Board Policies, District Policies and District regulations that apply to it. The purpose of these policies are to ensure that the Board members operate within the parameters of the Board’s duties and responsibilities.
There are policies on Ends and Executive Limitations, which set forth the goals and the constraints on the district in meeting those goals. There are governance policies that set forth the manner in which the Board will govern the district. There are Board/Staff linkage policies that clarify that the only member of staff that the Board should direct is the superintendent, and then only within the executive limitations.
There is even a Board Policy, GP-14, that deals with the Process for Addressing Board Member Violations. This, good citizens of Jeffco, is the ONLY recourse or avenue to address Board member misbehavior short of significant legal action.
Here is the policy, in its entirety:
The Board and its members are committed to faithful compliance with the provisions of the Board’s policies. In the event of a member’s violation of policy, the Board promptly will seek remedy by the following process, as needed:
First, conversation in a private setting between the member in question and the Board president or other individual member.
Second, discussion in a work session between the member in question and the full Board.
Third, public censure of the member in question.
This is laughable – WHO addresses violations of law and Board policies? The Board itself? So when the majority of the Board members are guilty of multiple and repeated blatant policy and law violations, to whom do the remaining Board members and the public go??? And what happens to the bad actors, even if the Board did do something about the violations? They have a little talk . . . This Board won’t put any teeth in this policy, but we, the people will!
Messrs Witt, Newkirk and Ms. Williams, we, the people of Jefferson County, hereby demand that you publicly censure yourselves for multiple and repeated violations of: Board Policies GP-01, GP-02, GP-04, GP-05, GP-07, GP-08, GP-09, GP-11, GP-12, GP-14, GP-17, BSL-01, BSL-02, and BSL-03; and District Policies AC, BBBA, BDG, BE, BEDH, CC, DIF, GBAA, GBC, HA, HC, HH, IGA, JBC, JI, KD, KDA, and KDB.
And we demand that Dan McMinimee be publicly censured for his failure to comply with EL-02, EL-03 and EL-04.
Will the Board censure themselves for these multiple and repeated policy violations? The Board should be accountable to the community. We understand that newbies make mistakes but when this many repeated issues continue to arise, while the public is funding a separate Board attorney on the backs of Jeffco kids, how does the community address this if the elected officials of the Board will not?
Notation: This was Ms. McCord’s original draft. When the public showed up for the meeting on Thursday, the Board had decided that comments to address the board had to be 1 minute or less.