August 7, 2014


Rather than working through the committee process that the board established last month, CECI-supporting members decided to again change the rules when they didn’t like the results reached by a their own called-for Ad Hoc subcommittee. Instead, members chose the nuclear option of scrapping the Ad Hoc subcommittee’s work and voted to approve all proposed rule changes from their July 9 meeting.


The new rules will allow the addition of items to the board’s agenda at any time, as well as allowing members to change the rules at any time--which means to any thinking person, there really are no rules.


Board member Gordon Hendry suggested that the board go even further by hiring another attorney from the Attorney General’s office to serve as a Parliamentarian to interpret rules and settle disputes.


Board member Troy Albert began the rules discussion by giving a report of the Ad Hoc committee, which was tasked with addressing these proposed rules changes. As we reported last month, the Ad Hoc committee meeting was productive. Members Albert, Neal and Superintendent Ritz seemed to agree on most of the items charged to the committee, including the prohibition of adding last minute items to the meeting agenda.


During the committee’s report yesterday, Andrea Neal added that the board shouldn't propose new meeting procedures every time there is a disagreement or bad meeting.  


In discussion of procedures and whether Superintendent Ritz can set meetings, some members alleged that Ritz could simply delay meetings. It was during this discussion that Brad Oliver asked rhetorically whether the Chair even needed to be present for the state board meetings.


The members discussed at length the issue of adding items to the agenda without public notice. Andrea Neal stated that it was not in the best interest of the public (and its right to know) to allow surprise agenda items to be added and discussed at the same meeting.  However, Gordon Hendy led the majority’s argument that in the best interest of the board, members should be able to add items to the agenda at any time.


“I believe the board should be able to add items to the agenda an hour before the meeting,” said Hendry.


This leads us to ask a lot of questions.


If the public doesn't know what items are on the agenda for a meeting, is that even considered public notice? Using Hendry's logic, why would the state board even have or need an agenda?


Despite hours of discussion on board rules and procedures, as well as the work of the Ad Hoc committee, the board voted 8-3 to adopt all of the proposed rule changes that the Ad Hoc committee was charged with re-writing. Neal, Albert and Ritz all voted no to the carte blanche changes.


Please thank Troy Albert and Andrea Neal for serving on the Ad Hoc Committee and working with Superintendent Ritz to come up with yet another set of rules—even though their work was thoroughly ignored by the rest of the board.


All of this again proves that if the Governor’s and CECI’s board don’t get their way, they change the rules.  What a life lesson this is for the children of our state.  


Know more: Video of the board's debate on procedures can be viewed here