Resolved, no regularly scheduled open meeting of the Board shall occur during the hours when school is in session, during the hours of regularly scheduled bus transportation, or during the time after school closing that it would take to commute from the furthest school in the district from the meeting location using public transportation”– Resolution submitted to the LAUSD
Last October, the Northridge East Neighborhood Council (NENC) passed a resolution calling on the Los Angeles City Council “to urge the LAUSD School Board to pass the ‘Board Meeting Accessibility to the Public’ [proposal] that has been submitted to them for consideration.” In doing so, they joined parents and other district stakeholders in asking board members to take concrete actions to make sure that those affected by actions taken during their meetings have more of an opportunity to participate in the proceedings. The proposed requirements included a prohibition against holding meetings when school is in session, assurance that stakeholders who could not fit into the meeting room are still given the opportunity to participate, and making sure that differing opinions were heard during public comment.
In the time since the NENC expressed their support for the “Board Meeting Accessibility to the Public”, the proposal has been formally presented to the LAUSD Board. While two board members have expressed interest in moving the proposal forward, it has yet to be voted on by the board. Instead, Board Member Nick Melvoin has tried to limit the amount of time that the public is given to address the board through a series of rule changes crafted behind closed doors by a committee that has not held public meetings. While shunning public input, Melvoin, along with Superintendent Austin Beutner, were shown in confidential emails uncovered by Michael Kohlhaas dot org to be privately coordinating with the charter school industry.
Earlier this year, the voters selected the NENC Board of Directors for a new term. At the recommendation of the Education Committee, the newly seated board voted unanimously on August 21, 2019, to reiterate “its support of the proposed ‘Board Meeting Accessibility to the Public’ LAUSD resolution.” Is the LAUSD Board listening?