I’d like to make one correction to a balanced and otherwise accurate front-page story of Friday, January 11 about the placement of Advisory Committee comment on School Board meeting agendas. The article stated that the “Superintendent...and members of the Berkeley Board of Education backed away from a controversial change in board procedures...” and that the “board intended to change the order of its bi-weekly agenda...” These statements are not quite accurate: the agenda change was made by Superintendent Lawrence, as she indicated at the Board meeting of January 11, without prior consultation with Board members. I had intended to raise the issue during my Board comment period and/or during Board requests, and I did so after the Superintendent had already acknowledged that a Board discussion was in order on the subject.
I personally believe the practice of allowing a five-minute comment to District Advisory Committees at the beginning of Board meetings has advantages of informing the Board and the public before Board discussions or votes on proposals, as well as allowing working parents the convenience of a set, known time that is consistent from meeting to meeting. I will support retaining the five-minute comment period in its customary place.
I write as an individual Board member, and do not necessarily speak for other Board members.
Director, Berkeley School Board