Boots & Sabers

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Tag: Racine Unified School District

Racine School Board Allows Public Comments for First Time in Six Months

Just notice how quickly some government bodies lock out the public when they have an excuse to do so. I would point out that many, many other school boards were able to find a way to accommodate public access while conducting virtual meetings. This was a choice by Racine because they didn’t really want to hear from their constituents as they made unpopular decisions.

Monday was the first time the School Board allowed public comment during one of its business meetings in around six months. Board President Brian O’Connell previously said this was due to logistical issues as the board had been hosting meetings via Zoom since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. There were a few technical issues during the comment period on Monday that caused some minor delays.

Out of the 11 people who commented during the meeting, either in-person or via email, nine of those implored the board to get students back into classrooms.

Racine School District and Union Continue to Bicker

What children.

The new venue of conflict is the Board of Adjustments, a committee of half district administrators and half union representatives that is to find $1 million in healthcare savings.

But the union half of the board did not attend a meeting Thursday afternoon, which blocked the board from taking any action.

“We’ve got a task in front of this committee to save a million dollars,” said David Hazen, Unified chief operations officer, at the meeting. “We’ve already lost July, August and September of this year; we’re not saving any money … so one thing we do need (is) to get a voting meeting together.”

The unions’ members did not attend the meeting because of a disagreement over meeting scheduling and attendance.

The unions wanted an eight-member team at the meeting, but the district would only allow four voting members to get out of work, according to Naomi Baden, executive director of the Racine Education Uni-serve Council that coordinates the district’s two largest unions.

“Mr. Hazen, despite our clarity that we’re not going to send a team if all of our members weren’t given leave, went ahead and had the meeting anyway,” she said. “We would be happy to meet after hours, after the school day and with such a large team, but he didn’t set it up that way.”

Hazen confirmed that the district would only allow the four board members to get out of work during the meeting, but noted that he would also prefer to have meetings after school hours.

So the union won’t attend a meeting during school hours unless 8 people are allowed off of work to attend (and the taxpayers incur the additional costs for that) and the district won’t hold the meeting after work hours because they don’t want to give up a few evenings. Meanwhile, the taxpayers are continuing to spend more because these bozos can’t get together to hold a meeting to find savings.

Does either side have the kids’ or taxpayers’ interests in mind?




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