Recap: June 23 board meeting

A quick and semi-coherent recap of tonight’s (or by now, last night’s) meeting — we passed the budget, slogged through a long consent calendar and introduced a resolution on student discipline and restorative justice that will be discussed by several committees when the board returns from its recess in August.

That’s right – recess! No board or committee meetings in July. I’ll continue to update the blog but posting will probably be less frequent.

Tonight there was a lot of discussion about contracts and impatience with the large number of retroactive contracts submitted to the Board. Everyone feels our “K resolution” contract format is lacking and needs an overhaul. So the Rules, Policy and Legislation Committee is going to take up that issue in August.

We also had an extended discussion about Teach For America, which just completed its first year of a three-year contract placing their intern teachers in SFUSD.  There are some mixed feelings about the TFA contract, and Board members expressed a desire to hear a progress report about how the first year went; there was also concern voiced about placing intern teachers in some of our hardest-to-staff schools, since that goes against what Prop. A and the strategic plan are all about.  So look for this topic to return to a Personnel committee agenda sometime in August.

The budget discussion was somewhat muted, since most of the Board is thankful that this year is calm and reasonably non-controversial. Barely any members of the public even attended the meeting (a big change from a month ago!).  My only question was one that occurred to me this morning, regarding the transportation budget, since we had a year ago pledged to look at cutting $1 million from transportation for the 2009-10 school year but no cuts were ultimately proposed. It turns out that because the student assignment redesign has become more complex and drawn-out than expected, it makes more sense to look at these cuts next year within the larger context of a new student assignment system.

And finally — the Board authorized the Superintendent to offer the position of Deputy Superintendent for Instruction, Innovation and Social Justice to a specific candidate.  Stay tuned for further announcements.

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