"Now if we were $50,000,000 over budget I would be concerned" - Board President Mrs. Lara

I am happy to hear Mrs. Lara has a limit.

Here are the highlights from last night's meeting.

Several parents came forward to speak about rumors they heard that the $20,000,000 stadium was in jeopardy. This couldn't be farther from the truth. The board promptly dispelled the rumor by authorizing the administration to sell $30,000,000 more in Measure Z bonds. This should double the amount of our property taxes going to the school district and won't cover the future high school the administration says we will need in 4-5 years.

Mrs. Poulter suggested something I and others proposed two years ago; the district could use Chavez Elementary for their administration offices. Mr. Orozco suggested moving money from the administration office budget to cover other projects. Both these ideas were shot down by our Assistant Superintendent of Business who told us our property values will begin rising again soon. I hope she knows something all the economist and real estate experts don't.

Several parents came forward to speak about how the board and the administration pushed through the Superintendent's contract extension last month. We heard from Dr. Kayrell that his attorneys, actually I think they are our attorneys since our tax money pays their fees, have provided him a "Letter of Clarification" informing them that everything they did was legal. Mr. Orozco requested a copy of the letter and also made a formal written request to the board president to revisit the Superintendent's contract at the next board meeting. Thank you Mr. Orozco. I will also request a copy of this letter and post a copy once I am able.

Finally, the petition for the Highland Academy Charter School was denied. It was denied because the board didn't believe it was complete enough. Mrs. Poulter brought up the fact that there was no procedure outlined to determine how the school would select the 144 kids they were planning for the first year's enrollment. She knew that there might be in excess of 300 applicants. I believe this was a valid argument. I spoke to Mr. Brent Bishop, the force behind the charter school, and he assured me they would address the district's concerns and resubmit the petition.

I want to end on a positive note. I want to thank Mrs. Poulter for the refreshing approach she brings to this board. Last night before voting to deny the petition, she provided us an explanation of her position. Too often I've watched our school board make decisions where they don't believe they need to include the rest of us. Mrs. Poulter also voted her conscience when she was the sole dissenter on the bond issue. It was too bad she had to later explain that she was glad the issue passed and she knew they didn't need her vote. Mrs. Poulter always seems to be asking informed questions and she's not afraid to think outside the box. I want to encourage her to keep it up. We need more of this from all our elected officials.