The Escambia County School Board held a special meeting on Thursday afternoon, 5-27-2009.
The Primary purpose of the meeting was the discussion of Stimulus spending ideas, and the approval of the Superintendent's Stimulus spending plan, stimulus planning document, and strategic goals.
The meeting lasted for 3.5 hours, going into the early evening. Every point was covered, and I feel most of my questions were answered. Although I have some significant concerns about some aspects of the plan which I discussed in detail at the meeting and also on this blog here and here, I eventually voted to support all of the ideas on the meeting's agenda .
Big ideas deserve a big, vigorous debate in my opinion. Had I just gone in and pressed the yes button without asking some tough and valid questions, I do not feel as though I would have been doing my job. I'm always going to ask questions as long as I'm on this board, and I'm sure I will not always agree with all of the recommendations put forth. This said, I want to make it clear that when I ask questions about specific programs, it is not personal. It's business--all business and a part of what a conscientious school board member does.
The issues we voted on yesterday are very short fused, and decisions had to be made quickly. The plan is not perfect, I realize that, but I did not feel it would have been prudent in this case to vote against the plan, essentially allowing the perfect to be the enemy of the good. I strongly support the Superintendent and his staff, and voting in favor of these recommendations despite significant concerns illustrates this.
Now the district needs to execute the plan--and we are going to have to see postive measurable results from this spending and these programs. My sense of the close of this special meeting was that the Board will be keeping a close watch on these plans as they are rolled out in the coming months.
I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.