We’re still waiting for agenda transparency

Clear Creek ISD, much like the creek the District is named for, has a serious transparency problem. That is very obvious in its Board of Trustees meeting agendas, which are published on the CCISD website – with a catch. The BoardBook public agenda packet expands on the agenda items, but only provides a “tracking” sheet that doesn’t fully explain what the agenda item is.

Let’s take a look at the Consent Agenda items from August 26, 2019.

16: Consider Approval of Annual ILA Purchasing Cooperatives, Fees and Estimated Expenditures

The agenda packet item is a tracking sheet that references a spreadsheet. There is no spreadsheet that the public can see. All the praise that Trustee Scott Bowen heaped on the finance department might be deserved – but we don’t see it. We don’t get to see how the ILA purchasing cooperatives, fees and estimated expenditures are closer to what we’re actually spending. We don’t get to see if they’re trying to save money. Who are these vendors? What are we spending? If it’s anything at all like the budget presented at the August 26, 2019 CCISD Board of Trustees meeting, we may never know. We’ll have an in-depth post about this at a later date.

19: Consider Approval of FOC(LOCAL): Student Discipline: Placement in a Disciplinary Alternative Education Setting

Here’s another agenda item that we have to question. The tracking sheet for this one states that:

The language in this policy was reviewed by the policy committee. The language has been revised to accurately reflect the two current disciplinary alternative education programs offered at Clear Path Alternative School.

Ok, great. So the old policy didn’t match up – which means that CCISD technically wasn’t following policy. But what is this policy? What does the new language say? Summarizing it like this but not providing the language doesn’t tell us anything. For the record, FOC(LOCAL) currently reads as follows:

Authority

The Board delegates the authority to the principal to remove students to disciplinary alternative education programs (DAEP).

Informal Hearing

Before removing a student to a DAEP, the person authorized to suspend or remove a student shall hold an informal hearing with the student and the student’s parent(s) or guardian(s) at which:

The student is advised of the conduct with which he or she is charged.

The student is given the opportunity to explain his or her version of the incident.

Removal to DAEP

The District shall provide the following programs:

An off-campus program designed primarily for drug and alcohol violations.

An off-campus program designed for students who have been adjudicated or charged with violent offenses either on or off campus.

An on-campus program for students whose offenses do not meet the descriptions in items 1 or 2.

Appeal

The decision to remove a student to a DAEP may be appealed to the assistant superintendent or designee within two workdays after receipt of written notice of removal.

The assistant superintendent’s or designee’s decision shall be final with no appeal.

Placement in DAEP Beyond the End of the Next Grading Period

If a student’s placement in the DAEP is scheduled to extend beyond the end of the next grading period, the student’s parent(s) or guardian(s) shall receive notice of an opportunity to participate in a proceeding before the appropriate assistant superintendent.

Again, what’s changing? Why do we have to wait until it’s passed before we find out? It’s reminiscent of Nancy Pelosi telling us we have to pass Obamacare to find out what’s in it. Well, we all know how that went, as we watch our health insurance premiums increase and our coverage decrease.

CCISD needs to post these items for the public to view. It’s been obfuscating for so long that it doesn’t know how to be transparent. But it owes it to the parents and taxpayers of the district to do so.

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