A letter read to the Cedar Springs School Board on March 14 during the second public comment section of the meeting.
Thank you, Mrs. Bayink, for “Speaking” and requesting the board discuss several issues at hand during the next board meeting. I believe I saw a head-nod of support to Mrs. Bayink’s request from Mr. Shoffner. Thank you both for being a voice of acknowledgment.
The Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB) specifically notes under their publication titled “Characteristics of an Effective Board Member” that they show “the willingness to express one’s own opinion and participate in discussions openly and honestly while encouraging and respecting the free expression of opinion by colleagues. “
Under the MASB’s publication titled School Board Members Job Description, the header and two of the six items read, “In addition to duties enumerated in the Michigan School Code, good governance imposes the following responsibilities on the board: 2. The board connects with the community; 6. The board takes responsibility for itself.
The educators and community members who are happy with the current procedures, decisions, and trends are certainly entitled to their opinions and should be treated respectfully. But don’t those that have questions and concerns also deserve to be equally heard, considered, and respected?
Mr. Sabinas read a section of the MASB “Your Local School Board” under “How do School Boards Make Decisions.” It reads, “When making decisions, school boards seek the advice and counsel of the district’s administrators, teachers and other employees, as well as input from the community and specialists with knowledge about the topic under consideration.”
Are you willing to follow the MASB’s recommendations?
How is your current strategy of “no response” working?
Do you feel you have provided more transparency and gained a level of trust over the last few months?
What does the continued increase in attendance (standing room only) at board meetings mean to you?
Do you trust, believe, and value the educators who you have known and have served our district for 10, 20, and 30 years when they tell you they are concerned?
While the projected deficit budget presented tonight looks bad…have you considered what it might look like with a significant exit of students from our district next year?
Please allow yourselves to opening and honestly discuss the questions and issues brought before you at the next workshop meeting.
Please follow the MASB’s recommended practices of seeking out the truth.
I believe the Open Meetings Act and School Policies do give you the right and I hope you believe there is a need to discuss the issues before you and most importantly look for collaborative solutions. Thank you very much.
Susan Wolfe, CSPS District