— By Stephanie Marble, Clairemont HS AR and Write-in Candidate for SDEA Board
Wow. What comes first at the Feb. 28 SDEA Board meeting? The newly announced elementary principal-come-Superintendent? Nope. Lindsay Burningham, SDEA VP, begins with her concern about the SDEA minutes once again. This time it is the Round Table documentation during an SDEA board meeting. More specifically, what they wanted redacted from the roundtable was, “members want avenue for input for the next contract bargaining.” Really? This is what they want removed? A short discussion happened on whether to strike items or the entirety of “agendizing” round table. One board member (Erin Kole) even stated they would be accused of not being transparent. The majority of our union Board voted to redact their conversation during round table from the minutes. It does appear that anti-transparency (or as little as they can get by with) remains the Board’s standard operating principle.
SDEA Executive Director Tim Hill talked about the timeline and creation of the bargaining committee, which are in our standing rules. Hill asked for SDEA President Bill Freeman and the SDEA Board to recommend 30-40 people to consider/interview. Ideally, SDEA will need 20 for the bargaining commission. They look like they want to get a committee together quickly. Let Freeman or your SDEA Board members know if you want to be on the bargaining commission and then your name should be forwarded to Hill.
The SDEA Board Retreat Organizing Plan was presented by Burningham. The first goal focused on “… to improve our internal and external communication system” — part of which includes regular meetings with the District. Another part focuses on the internal component. Freeman stated, “We need to work on Rep. Council, to make it more meaningful and not so much a complaint session.” I thought Rep. Council was a time for AR’s to discuss issues happening around the District. If not Rep. Council, then when? The second goal is bargaining for our next contract, beginning with the Bargaining Commission. After a short discussion came to an end, Board Member Ramon Espinal asked, “So there’s no action then?” Burningham said there was no motion needed, because it is just a plan. I think that explains it all.
There was virtually no discussion of the fact that the School Board named, without regard to the Brown Act, elementary school principal Cindy Marten to be Superintendent. Nevermind how good she has been at that job — as principal, she has managed 850 students, 100 employees and a $5 million dollar budget. As such, she will now take on 180,000 students, 14,000 employees and a $1 billion dollar budget. Really?