School Board To Citizens:
"You Want Transparency? We Got Your Transparency Right Here!"
The Emery School District says they're all about transparency and citizen engagement....and that's what they are.... between the hours of 8 and 8:30 AM during the week when parents and citizens are working. Are they believers in transparency at times when the citizens are free to participate? Well...not so much.
After the Oakland School District shut their Elementary School, Santa Fe, Emery has made a play for use of it during construction of the new school at the Center of Community Life. The cash strapped Emery plans on paying Oakland $1.5 million over three years even though Emery has Ralph Hawley Middle School sitting idle; some might call this a controversial use of public money.
The School Board decided in closed session at last week's regularly scheduled Board meeting to lease Santa Fe School. California law requires the binding vote for this to be public however so that's obviously where the School Board thinks a 8 AM weekday meeting would come in handy.
'Make sure the controversial votes happen when nobody is looking'...that's how far down the Emery School District has sunk: they're now on par with the anti-democratic tactics used by the Oakland School District.
Emery even made use of a Friday Afternoon News Dump to announce the 8 AM meeting, a well worn tactic elites use to sneak something unsavory past a civically disengaged public.
Oakland School District for it's part used this same weekday work hours tactic to disenfranchise parents as they voted to shutter Santa Fe Elementary, a move that brought the ire of the local school advocacy group BAMN (By Any Means Necessary). Emery's quashing of parental engagement on Tuesday morning at the High School's Emery Theater invites a BAMN action to our District.
We cry foul to this nefarious anti-democratic action by the School Board. We implore Emery School District to not lower itself to these divisive Oakland tactics. We say, let the people have a say in this very important decision.