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BOARDWATCH: November 20, 2013 Board meeting sees fist fight, protests against overcrowding, and denunciations for past year's hypocrisy about 'underutilization'

Before the regular monthly meeting of the Chicago Board of Education began on Wednesday, November 20, 2013, both sides of the arcade next to the Board lobby at 125 S. Clark Street were filled with people waiting to speak, observe, and support speakers during the meeting. A number of schools held a press conference to protest continued overcrowding. The Board chambers were, as usual, filled, so the 15th floor "Holding Room" was opened for the "overflow." Students from the South Shore Fine Arts Academy performing at the November 21, 2013 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.The Board meeting began at approximately 10:46 a.m. with roll call. Board members Andrea Zopp and Dr. Mahalia Hines were absent. Board members present were Dr. Henry Bienen, Board Vice-President Jesse Ruiz, Deborah Quazzo, and Dr. Carlos Azcoitia. Also present was Board President David Vitale. Ashley Gordan, Honorary Student Member and the Shadow Student Board Member were introduced.

The meeting began with the "Honoring Excellence" portion. Third and fourth grade students, from South Shore Fine Arts Academy, dressed in dark pants, white shirts, and red ties, performed. First, a choir sang "Somebody Sang for Me," a French folk song, and then eight students played a selection on their violins. The students were led by two different teachers.

After they finished, President Vitale thanked them and said this program was possible due to recent Board money decisions.

Markay Winston (standing) and Karen Tarnley (in wheelchair) discussed plans for coordinating the work of the CPS "Office of Diverse Learners..." with the City of Chicago's Office of Disabilities. None of the Board members asked either speaker why CPS had decided that the office of special education would this year be the "Office of Diverse Learners..." Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Next, Dr. Markay Winston, Chief Officer of the "Office of Diverse Learner Supports and Services" (ODLSS), spoke about National Inclusive Schools Week, which will take place during the week of December 2. [The "Office of Diverse Learners Support Services", ODLSS, is what CPS began calling the special education department this year...].

Winston emphasized equitable access for students, the regionalization of networks, and the sharing of strategies. She added that "disability awareness training" for all employees will take place beginning in January and continuing into the next 12 to18 months. Karen Tamley, Commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Disabilities, joined Dr. Winston and added information about three parent forums, a transition summit, and teaming with the Board of Education (BOE).

Following their presentations, Board members asked questions. Dr. Carlos Azcoitia wanted to know if too many diverse students were in one building in the past. He noted that some schools were more than 30 percent "special education" students (now called "diverse learners"). Dr. Winston said the plan was to even that out. Vice-President Ruiz wanted to know what students are getting and was told by Dr. Winston that the students are getting "supports," and "better outcomes." He also asked about measuring achievement. He was told attendance and the graduation rate would be utilized, along with the goal of making older students self-advocating. After that, Commissioner Tamley added that students would learn to write resumes, do job shadowing, and take part in internships.

CPS security escorted Ronald Jackson out of the building following his participation in a fist fight over the integrity of the praises offered for the AUSL Dewey "turnaround." Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.The public was then reminded of the Local School Council (LSC) nominations which will take place this week through February 26. LSC elections will take place Monday, April 7 and Tuesday, April 8, during elementary and high school report card pick-ups. The Board decided to have two days of report card pick-up, one for elementary students and one for high school students, and two days of voting.

President Vitale reminded the public that they can meet with board members during regular office hours by calling 773-553-1600. The public was also informed that sign-up for public participation at the Wednesday, December 18, board meeting would begin Monday, December 9, at 8 a.m. and continue until Friday, December 13, at 5 p.m.or until all slots were filled.

Public participation for this meeting then began at ll:15 a.m.

First to speak was Michael Brunson, Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) Recording Secretary. He mentioned that he was a teacher and a father of two students in CPS. He said his children wanted to know why they were being tested on what they were not taught. When they were asked, "What did you learn from this test?" they replied, "How to fail." Having recovered from a year-long bout of "Servile Amnesia", Chicago Public Schools "Chief Transformation Officer" Todd Babbitz was prepped to present to the Board of Education about the current "crisis" facing the nation's third largest schools system -- overcrowding. Babbitz was appointed to the newly created job of "Chief Transformation Officer" by a vote of the Chicago Board of Education at its July 2012 meeting (salary, $196,000 per year) because his qualifications in educational administration and experience fit the models being used by the school board appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Babbitz worked as a management consultant prior to his debut in education, and before that had earned an MBA from the University of Chicago. Throughout the 2012 - 2013 school year, Babbitz's job was to go around the city repeating Rahm Emanuel's claim that the school system faced an "underutilization" crisis. Babbitz was one of those who was supposed to claim that closing dozens of schools would solve the "crisis" and "save money" for the school system. Rahm's quota in October 2012 was 50; after hearings and protests involving more than 30,000 people, the Board on May 22, 2013 voted to close 49. But by July 2013, press digging revealed that the overall cost of the closings -- and the refurbishing of the so-called "welcoming schools" -- would not save any money at all. By the summer of 2013, however, Babbitz's job was to get amnesia regarding the previous year's ("underutilization") crisis and deliver a "Facilities Plan" that even most Board members scoffed at as not a plan at all. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt. Mr. Brunson said that there is not enough time in the day to teach all the items that are being tested when so much time is being devoted to testing. He added that testing is an assessment and that any tool can be misused. He added that earlier this month, there had been confusion about a benchmark test. He also mentioned the Professional Personnel Leadership Committee (PPLC) which includes teachers and members who are elected to give advice on curriculum, the School Improvement Plan and the budget. He asked the Board to bring back the joy of teaching and learning in our schools.

Matthew Johnson of the "Dewey School of Excellence" said he was here today to share positive things going on at Dewey. He told of his son's perfect attendance and said he looks forward to meeting with Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Barbara Byrd-Bennett. At this point, an audience member shouted out, "How much did you get paid?" Matthew Johnson was speaking on behalf of an AUSL school which had been subjected to "turnaround." By the time he was finished, a fist fight was looming.

Amber Mandley, speaking on behalf of Chicago International Charter Schools (CICS), asked for equal funding for charter schools. When her son asked why she was going to do that again when she had been to the Board in the past to speak about the same issue, she stressed the importance of repetition.

At this point, a fight broke out in the audience, signaled by shouting in the rear. Photographers and other individuals rushed to the hallway adjoining the fifth-floor chamber and were followed by security guards. Audience members were told to "stay in your seats." Despite the disruption, the speakers continued.

Maria Georgekos of Canty Elementary School was the first of a dozen speakers who denounced the Board's continued policy of allowing overcrowding at the city's neighborhood schools while selectively supplying facilities dollars to schools that do not need them. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Next to speak was Maria Georgekos, from Canty Elementary School. She said that Canty School needs help because of overcrowding and asked the Board when the decision be made regarding this. Noting that CPS was going to take care of other schools in more affluent communities, she said that logically, the school most in need would be #1 in order, Canty is #19, and yet other schools, less in need, seem to be more deserving.

She reminded the Board that there were three classrooms per grade in the school and said that enrollment was 818 in a building with a capacity of 500. She added that there isn't a proper lunchroom or kitchen and that Art is taught out of a cart. Canty has been asking the Board for relief since 1998, when the Board President was Gery Chico and the CEO was Paul Vallas.

Alderman Michelle Smith (above) praised and thanked the Board for pushing forward on a plan to add a building for Lincoln Elementary School, despite the fact that there are dozens of schools facing more severe overcrowding than Lincoln -- albeit in much less affluent communities. Smith also put an LSC member (Tasha Belling, a current LSC member who was not signed up to speak) in front of the Board despite the fact that Belling was not signed up to speak. David Vitale, who ruthlessly limits the speaking time of his critics, smiled benignly while the praise-the-Board speaching continued. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.The next speakers spoke about Lincoln Elementary. Alderman Michelle Smith, of the 37th Ward in the Lincoln Park area, said that overcrowding needs to be addressed and stated that the situation is very dire. She said that Lincoln School is the15th most overcrowded and that they want to expand the elementary school. She thanked the BOE that Lincoln Elementary will be expanded at the current location.

She added that the Lincoln parents are very involved. Smith's presentation foreshadowed a group of speakers who came later who challenged the alderman's version of events.

Tasha Belling, a current LSC member who was not signed up to speak, spoke at the request of Alderman Smith. She added comments about Lincoln Elementary and thanks to the Board.

Next, those opposing the expansion of Lincoln spoke.

Susanna Krentz was one of the many community residents who spoke in opposition to taking the space of the playground for the addition to Lincoln Elementary School. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Susanna Krentz said she was strongly opposed to the expansion of Lincoln School and was appalled by the lack of open simple redistricting of other Lincoln Park schools. A group of residents from various parts of the community have been organized in opposition to the addition to Lincoln during the entire process. Krents said the expansion of Lincoln School would increase congestion and traffic on Kemper Place. She mentioned that a lot of Lincoln School children are driven to school and yet it is neighborhood school. She added that the current Lincoln playground, which serves the neighborhood, would be paved over, leaving only a tiny playlot and a "rooftop playground" that would not be available to the community. She remarked that four years ago, the BOE said the boundaries would be changed.

Anne Schusler joined her in opposing the decision to build on the LIncoln Elementary playground. She said that she and her husband recently purchased a home on Kemper and had no children yet. She praised the playground as a "hidden gem." She said that the Lincoln Park area was densely populated and she had yet to see the current playground empty of children. She added that if the playground were downgraded, it would be a great loss to the community. She also said that ultimately, parents might go to the suburbs.

The speakers critical of the Lincoln expansion were interrupted when Jerome Quandt (and Alderman Smith) once again thanked the Board for their solution to the "overcrowding." Mr. Quandt said that Lincoln is among the top ten elementary schools and is American Disabilites Act (ADA) compliant. He then quoted Abraham Lincoln on Thankfulness.

The supposed needs of the Austin community were addressed next. Alderman Emma Mitts was one of the aldermen who trekked down from City Hall to speak to the Board. Mitts, long a proponent of privatization (she helped put the first Wal Mart into Chicago ten years ago), was surrounded by people promoting a charter school, which she claims is necessary to save the Austin community. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Alderman Emma Mitts, long a supporter of charter schools and Wal Mart, of the 37th Ward spoke next. She said she wants the support of the Board regarding the "Chicago Education Partnership" (a charter group) for a new K-8 charter school, beginning with K-1 and eight years later to a K-8 school with 810 students in the Austin neighborhood. She said the charter school will result in "a revitalization of the Austin community."

Tasha Sykes joined Mitts in what she said was the proposal "for the Austin community." She said she lives in the same house she grew up in in the Austin neighborhood and went to public schools in Austin. She said her own children attend Catholic suburban schools that provide a rigorous academic environment, small group instruction, and character development -- all of which she implied were not available in the current public schools in Austin.

The third speaker in favor of expanding charter schools in Austin was Michael Ross, pastor of the New Galilee Baptist Church. He joined Ms. Sykes and Alderman Mitts in promoting the Chicago "Education Partnership" charter school in Austin.

Ana Espinosa reminded the Board that despite the fictions of 26th Ward Alderman Roberto Maldonado, the people of Ames Elementary School do not want the Marine Military Academy. Substance Photo by George N. Schmidt. After that, parents concerned about the conversion of Ames Elementary to a military academy spoke. Ana Espinosa, parent of a kindergartner at McAuliffe Elementary and another child at Ames, spoke against a military school at Ames. She said that she has heard it is a done deal from Todd Conner, who is the CPS "Network Chief" for the military schools.

Maria Leticia Toribio, mother of an eighth grader, said that a vote about the future of Ames School was taken by parents at the November 12th report card pickup. She said that 768 voted to continue Ames as a community school and 40 voted for a military academy. She said signatures were collected on a petition arguing against a conversion of Ames to a military academy. She questioned the Board, "What kind of proof do you need now?" She said that she had met with Board President Vitale and CEO Byrd-Bennett and was told the decision would be based on community input. Yet on Friday, November 15, she and other parents received a letter saying the conversion of Ames to a military school was a "done deal." She asked, "What's going on?"

At every meeting of the Chicago Board of Education, Henry Bienen pontificates about how those who catch the Board in its lies don't know what they are talking about. A month later, he votes in favor of a policy that he, President David Vitale, and the other members of the Board claim was not even being contemplated. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Board member Bienen said that it can't be a done deal, the vote takes place at a Board meeting, and the Board has not voted. He also spoke of utilization, said he met with the group, and he knows what the community feels.

CEO Byrd-Bennett said she had only received information from the alderman (Alderman Roberto Maldonado), who had attended previous Board meetings but was not at this one. (The City Council was meeting at City Hall during the same time as the Board of Education). Board member Bienen added that we need verification. CEO Byrd-Bennett said that we'll work with Todd (Babbitz) and the legal department to clarify if the signatures are legal.

Healthy living was the next topic. Guillermo Gomez, of the Healthy Schools Campaign, spoke of the need for daily physical education (P.E.) classes. He said he noticed the P.E. policy was pulled out of the agenda. He added that P.E. has disappeared from the school day. He said that because of policy waivers, students had been excused from P.E. He asked for a meeting with CEO Byrd-Bennett and said he had brought 7000 petitions today. Board President Vitale said that there was support for P.E. for all our students.

Joining Mr. Gomez, Jose Hernandez, said that the petitions were signed by parents, teachers, principals, LSCs, and Parent Advisory Boards. He said we need to continue the fight against obesity. He thanked the Board for the additional time for LSC elections.

The new building for Lincoln Elementary School then returned to the agenda.

Diane Schmidt, parent of a seventh grader at Lincoln School, added to the community voices opposing the expansion of Lincoln School. She said there had been no public or community involvement in this decision -- especially when it resulted in the termination of the playground (where the new building will supposedly be built). She remarked that politics were involved in the decision and there were other schools that were more in need of the facilities funds than Lincoln. She told the Board that they had capitulated to one faction of the Lincoln parents without due process for those who opposed this. She stated that Lincoln was the "most entitled school in the city." She asked why Lincoln parents voices are more audible. She added that she was a huge supporter of CPS, but told the Board that they needed to listen to other components and need to make education equitable for all.

The Board President's reply was about getting the facts.

While 14th Ward Alderman Ed Burke was up the street at the City Council meeting, his aide, Jose Rivera, came to the Board of Education meeting to provide support for the parents and others from Edwards Elementary School, which is facing extreme overcrowding. While CPS officials and Mayor Rahm Emanuel have been providing relief for "overcrowding" at schools that don't need it (like Payton High School, which was built by Paul Vallas and Gery Chico to be small) or for schools that have deliberately gerrymandered their boundaries to create a false "overcrowding crisis" (like Lincoln Elementary in "Entitled" Lincoln Park), parents from schools across Chicago were protesting real problems that the mayor was ignoring, even when they affected his allies -- like Alderman Burke. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt. The next group spoke of the overcrowding at Edwards Elementary School, which is on the Southwest Side. Jose Rivera, spoke on behalf of Alderman Ed Burke of the14th Ward, who had to be at the City Council meeting. He said that Edwards School at 4815 S, Karlov was overcrowded and needs an addition. He noted that a leased space had already been filled and insisted that the Board provide the school with an additional facility.

He was followed by Silvia Miranda who said that the school has a capacity of 800, but currently has 1500 students. She spoke of 28 five year-olds in one class. She wanted to know what's going to happen next year? She added that we need a long-term plan. She said that we are rich in students, but we are poor in resources. She wanted to know where's the money going? (Someone in the audience called out, "Barbara Byrd-Bennett probably".)

Adding to the voices of concern about the overcrowding of Edwards School was Liliana Hernandez, LSC President. She wanted to know why Edwards was not included in the Board's facilities plan? She said the school is overcrowded and it is in an 85 year old building. She added that she has two children who are in two different buildings two miles apart. She said that we need a single building, not an annex.

Board Member Quazzo remarked that you are severly overcrowded.

Board President Vitale said that we don't have anything on the agenda to help Edwards at the moment.

People from other schools with needs spoke next.

Although her talk was limited to two minutes, Erika Anderson detailed the Board of Education's neglect of the children at Cook Elementary School. Board members had dutifully followed the Mayor Rahm Emanuel's talking points for two years (2011 - 2012 "Longer School Year"; 2013 - 2013 "Underutilization Crisis"), and as a result, Cook Elementary School still didn't have a first grade teacher in November of the 2013 - 2014 school year. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Erica Anderson, a parent of children at Cook Elementary who identified herself as very dedicated and involved, said that the school had had no first grade teacher since the semester started, there was no seventh grade teacher, no computer teacher, and no special ed teacher. She said her son had graduated because of the previous special ed teacher and was now on the honor roll in high school. She said she had spoken to Brandon Johnson, of the CTU, regarding the lack of a first grade teacher. She said we got a letter together, the principal said we have a teacher, but one month later, no teacher. CEO Byrd-Bennett said Ms. Little would talk with her.

Another school in need was James Ward World Language School. Michelle McGruder told the Board that the school was built in 1875 and was the oldest in use as a school. (Despite its age of 138 years,) the school is among the top three in the district for attendance and has won an Oppenheimer Award for music instruments. One thousand signed petitions were submitted asking for furniture, air-conditioning, and repairs. Ms. McGruder said that the lights were turned off in the hallways during times of heat because of the lack of air-conditioning and fans were used then. She said that chairs were needed because the chairs they have are old, wobbly, and in poor condition. She added that there is flooding in the basement. She was told that the Facilities Department would look into this.

LaSalle Elementary School parents Matt Luskin described the impact of the Board's most recent cuts on one school, while the Board members were briefed on Luskin by a $150,000 per year staffer (see next photo). Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Matthew Luskin, CTU organizer and parent of a child at La Salle, spoke of CPS community concerns. He said that there are many new tests, even in Pre-K and the Board President Vitale had made promises to the parents from Ames but the mayor and Alderman Maldonado had made liars of Board President Vitale.

Alderman Mary O'Connor of the 41st Ward thanked the Board for resolving the issue of overcrowding at Oriole Park School.

Ralph Fackler, of Malcolm X College, spoke of time-distribution. He suggested that one solution for Individual Education Plans (IEPs) would be to abandon time allotments for IEPs if such time allotments are impossible to achieve. He said he has a program which will help and he will make the program available. He identified himself as a 40-year teacher and said his wife is a teacher, too.

David Vitale (left) and the members of the Chicago Board of Education are usually briefed negatively about critics via text messages during Board meetings. From time to time they will respond to critics by claiming that the "facts" are different (although they never actually debate their versions of reality in public). On occasions, however, they receive information directly. Above, their "Chief of Staff", Abigayle Joseph, whispers during the testimony of Matt Luskin. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Katherine Myers, founder of the "Great Lakes Academy," a proposed charter school in "Greater South Shore," presented 1500 signatures of support for the school.

Michelle Villegas said that there was an unfair application of the Education Facilities Master Plan. She remarked that the Lincoln annex was inequitable and illogical. She said it would double the capacity while eliminating the playground. She added that this solution was rejected two years ago. She also said that a roof-top playground would not be accessible to the community. She told the Board that the Board had met with first term LSC members.

Kenyatta Holmes spoke in favor of a Noble charter school her daughter was in. She said her daughter had a learning disability and still has received high grades and is in Honors Chemistry.

Karen Tolbert, a vendor for Multiple Business Systems, spoke of providing training to make the use of technology successful. When asked after one minute and forty-five minutes of speaking if she could please conclude, she replied, "I'm not sure who said that, so I'm not sure which way to look."

EvAngelYhwhnewBN reminded everyone to "kick the k word habit," because a kid is a goat and a child is a human being. She asked for the celebration of the anniversary of December 18, 1865, (On that date, the announcement was made of the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which ended slavery and involuntary servitude in the United States). She asked that a red, green, and black wreath be placed on the White House lawn by President Obama, she encouraged buying from Black businesses on that day, and she asked that "Twelve Years A Slave" be required reading in all schools receiving Federal funds.

Gloria Delgado, a graduate of a Noble school, first in her family to attend college, and now a senior at North Park University, spoke in support of Noble charter schools.

Caroline Vickery, a former parent at Lincoln School, spoke of her disappointment at the lack of transparency in the process of closing the neighborhood playground at Lincoln School. She said exercise was important, space was at a premium, and real playgrounds for our neighborhood children are needed.

Maryjane Galvez told the Board that there is no real principal for the Belmont Cragin Early Childhood Center, since the school is supposed to be supervised by a principal two miles away. The Board members ignored the concerns, as they have for more than a year. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Maryjane Gamez, a special ed teacher at Belmont-Cragin Early Childhood Center, said the principal of the Belmont-Cragin main building had not been there since September 27th. In fact, she said, most parents have never met the principal. She added that we received no answer last month and asked, "Who can we contact to initiate this process?"

Board President Vitale said that management was aware of this and was trying to respect and address proper solutions.

Rousemary Vega delivered a passionate presentation to the Board, following the anger that she expressed earlier when David Vitale had a violin group playing to the Board less than six months after Barbara Byrd Bennett and Vitale had arranged the destruction of Lafayette Elementary School, where her children had attended and learned orchestra. Vega also reminded the Board members that parents had been organizing since the Board devoted a year lying to the public about an "underutilization crisis" while CPS had more than 70 schools that are overcrowded, as many witnesses on November 20 said. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Elizabeth Koutny, who teaches at Ames School (but who signed in "Funston"), said that juice drinks loaded with sugar were being sold at Funston, Ames, and other schools. Just about every elementary teacher knows what happens when children get too much sugar before their afternoon classes. Returning to the topic of Ames, Koutny also asked the Board about the other options besides a military school for Ames. She wanted to know why Ames was chosen and asked if it had to do with the fact that Alderman Maldonado owns numerous properties (in the area). She added that they say that Ames is underutilized, but it was never a problem before.

After a lengthy period of time away from one of his favorite venues, Ramon Cervantes resumed his requests that CPS join his Michigan Ave. march every May. Cervantes's efforts were greeted with the "security hustle" after he violated the Board's "two minute" rule. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Ramon Cervantes, of "Don Quixote News", appeared in a large cowboy hat, to invite the Board to participate in his Cinco De Mayo parade on Michigan Avenue on the 43rd anniversary of the death of Marco Antonio Cervantes at a football game between Senn and Kennedy.

Denise Weston was concerned about the selling of illegal IEPs. She told the Board that a teacher beat her child. She said she had called Mr. Nelson in the CPS Law Department. She wants CPS to stop the endangerment of her child.

Rousemary Vega spoke of school issues and then told CEO Byrd-Bennett that "you have the best job in the world, you're underutilized...". Vega had helped organize protests against the lies of the 2012 - 2013 school year, when Byrd Bennett devoted six months to an elaborate strategy against schools she claimed were "underutilized." Part of the claim by Byrd Bennett was that the Board would "save money" closing the largest number of schools in the history of American public education. One of those schools on the 2012 - 2013 Hit List was Lafayette, where Vega's children had attended and learned classical music. Despite Byrd Bennett's promise that the closed schools would not be turned into charters, Vega and others noted that Lafayette was now being promised to "Chi Arts," effectively a charter school (although it's presently called a "Contract School"). The agility of CPS Chief Executive Officer Barbara Byrd Bennett in jumping when Mayor Rahm Emanuel orders is being called more and more into question as the facts evolve following the year during which Byrd Bennett claimed the school system was facing a "crisis" because of what she called "underutilization." Facing parents who had protested the falsity of the six-month-long campaign against 50 schools, Byrd Bennett sits stonily, as above, when parents report the truth this year. Above, Byrd Bennett was photographed during the passionate remarks of parent Rousemary Vega. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.To Board President Vitale, she said that you should be ashamed of yourself for not getting your facts straight. She remarked that you're failing yourself because you're at the top. She then told him that we have our own Board going - the People's Board, and added that we don't want you here.

Finally, Rosa Antunez, of Communties United for Quality Education and a Belmont-Cragin community leader, asked for relief of overcrowding at Jorge Prieto School at 2231 N. Central Avenue. She said that we were ignored last time, we have sixty students in classrooms, and this community is against charter schools. She wants money invested in neighborhood schools and invited the Board to the school to look at its needs. She asked why wealthier neighborhoods receive $20 million, but we are ignored.

When public participation was concluded at 1:05 p.m. board members were invited to comment. While board members offered general comments, Chief Transportation Officer (CTO) Todd Babbitz stepped to the mike and offered more lengthy comments.

After this, the board went into closed session.



Comments:

November 23, 2013 at 9:05 AM

By: Jay Rehak

Thanks for the recap, Mary Beth

Great reporting, Mary Beth! I appreciate the honest review of what happened at the Board. I think you should consider doing a short monthly podcast in which you review the Board of Ed meetings.

In any case, thanks for keeping us informed.

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