In her recent letter to the Wisconsin State Journal Chris Kolar, co-president of the Leopold Elementary School Parent Faculty Organization, criticizes me for my “early departure” from a Madison School Board meeting on April 25. She states that I “walked out of the board of education meeting at about the time Leopold was to be discussed”.
Please consider the facts that Ms. Kolar did not include in her letter.
On April 25, the board began meeting at 5:30. We held a series of meetings and an award ceremony that night. At 10:30 I excused myself. I explained that this time of year is the busiest for me as Assistant Dean for Students at the UW Law School. As I said, I felt that I could not be ready to meet my obligations to my students in the morning and continue meeting later into the evening. Board member Shwaw Vang left at the same time. I “walked out”, just as I had walked in. I did not leave the meeting in protest or to avoid discussion or voting.
The meeting that included Leopold issues began at 8:45. During the meeting, the board heard from the public in regard to Leopold school and other issues. I reported on a recent hearing at Lake View School. I offered motions on boundary issues at Hawthorne and Lake View Schools that were discussed and passed unanimously. I made the motion to maintain current boundaries at Leopold School for 2005-06 and make alterations to the building. This was the only item regarding Leopold that required action on Monday. The motion passed unanimously. It committed the Board to a plan for Leopold School for 2005-06. The final item on the agenda was not scheduled for a decision and there was no vote on the item after Mr. Vang and I left. After I left, the staff made a fifteen minute presentation and the meeting adjourned.
Here is Ms. Kolar’s letter.
Robarts: Stay For Discussion
Saturday, April 30, 2005
As co-president of the Leopold Elementary School Parent Faculty Organization, I write to express our disappointment with the early departure of Ruth Robarts from the Monday, April 25, board of education meeting. Robarts has publicly expressed her reasons for not supporting the referendum question on the expansion of Leopold Elementary, citing her dislike for the proposed population size of the pair schools. While we can respect her opinion, the Leopold plan has been under discussion for almost five years. Ruth had supported the proposal all along. Her recent change of heart has been frustrating for our organization.
We want to publicly state that Robarts needs to be present for all discussions regarding referendum issues and in particular, the issue with Leopold, since she has been quite vocal in her opposition. She walked out of the board of education meeting at about the time Leopold was to be discussed. We welcome continued dialog on solutions for Leopold, and encourage public support of the referendum issue.
— Christine M. Kolar, Fitchburg