Search The Tattler

Sunday, March 11, 2012

School District Power Grab: Seeks Limits On Oversight Committee

Uppity Oversight Committee Slapped Down By School District

The Emery Unified School District is preparing to limit and redefine the role of the Measure J Citizens' Oversight Committee by proposing the School Board change the Oversight Committee bylaws.  After several highly visible recent Committee member resignations, the School Board will vote to amend the Bylaws at the regularly scheduled March 12th meeting, Monday night.

The proposed revisions seem aimed at reigning in a noncompliant Oversight Committee.

Two proposed limiting revisions stand out:  They purport to now forbid the Oversight Committee from forming standing subcommittees and they purport to dictate the scope of the Committee's annual report to the public, first by seeming sleight-of-hand by saying it is strictly a report to the Board (in public session), and secondly outright by saying the report shall consist "solely of" a summery of the Committee's proceedings and activities and a statement indicating whether the School District is in compliance.

The two new changes would seem to violate the Constitution and the State mandated charge that the Committee be an "independent citizens' oversight committee", with the idea that the word independent taken to mean having the discretion to decide what is to go in the annual report to the public.


  1. I believe eliminating the standing committees is a good idea. They are a potential violation of the Brown Act (because all reports and deliberations should be in public meeting).

    On the other hand, limiting the Committee's discretion on what to report, who to report it to, is appalling.

    I suppose we owe the official reigning-in of the COC to Brian Carver being outspoken. Which is exactly what committee chairpersons should be (would we be seeing complaints if he had made loud with glowing praise?).

    Too bad all committee chairmen don't take the Finance Committee approach - it's always sunny in Philadelphia (Emeryville). Too bad from the status quo's perspective, at least.

  2. All officially sanctioned public meetings must operate in accordance with the Brown Act. That means meetings must be duly noticed and open to the public. So far, the subcommittees of the Oversight Committee have observed the Brown Act.