Tonight at 6:30 PM at the TESD Administration Building, is the first meeting of the T/E School District Public Information Committee, chaired by school board member Scott Dorsey — click here for the agenda. Dorsey is committed to improving communication with the public and encouraging open dialogue between the Board and residents.
Unfortunately, I am unable to attend tonight’s meeting but I have a personal ‘wish list’ for the Public Information Committee to consider and will send a copy to Mr. Dorsey for his consideration.
- Change how residents ask questions at school board meetings. Residents should be able to ask their question and receive an answer not have to wait until all the questions are asked before receiving an answer.
- Televise the School Board meetings live, as is down with the Board of Supervisors meetings. I advocate for Finance Committee meetings to be televised.
- Coordinate regular School Board meetings and Board of Supervisors monthly meetings == too often they fall on the same Monday nights.
- Encourage open dialogue between the residents and the School Board – an example took place at last week’s Finance Committee meeting where residents were encourage to ask questions and participate. Questions were answered immediately with no standing in line. I would like to see that refreshing relationship continue at regular school board meetings.
- Provide sufficient details and supporting documentation on the financials and budget so the public understands where the numbers come from – too often, the public is not provided with the necessary background for the numbers to make any sense.
- Many school districts, including Unionville Chadds Ford School District have the email address of school board members listed on their website. We don’t need to have their ‘personal’ emails, (like UCFSD) but I think that there should be a way for the public to communicate directly with the Board. Currently all emails to the school board are filtered through Art McDonnell. Why is Art McDonnell, the business manager, the filter for resident’s emails to the school board? This does not seem like an appropriate use of time by one of the highest compensated TESD employees.
- I would like to see the end to the consent agenda. Too many non-routine items ended up on the consent agenda – as examples in 2013, included on the consent agenda was the hiring of Andy Chambers and salary increase to the administrators. Other school districts (including UCFSD) do not use the consent agenda for that reason.
- Respect and civility is a two-way street. The Board members (plus District solicitor and staff) should be encouraged to respect the residents at meetings as should the residents to to the Board.