Minutes from Board Meeting to Create the Equity Task Force

Thanks for the link to the minutes of the October 31 meeting in the other thread. I found the document fascinating, and am posting it here (with the portion of the meeting devoted to expungement deleted for length reasons) for those who are following the equity task force. The discussion leading up to the charge is particularly interesting. The “continue reading” link will take you to the full minutes.

Art Rainwater, Superintendent
BOARD OF EDUCATION Doyle Administration Building, Room 103
Minutes for SPECIAL MEETING – Open and Executive Sessions\545 West Dayton Street
October 31, 2005 Madison, Wisconsin
The Special Meeting of the Board of Education was called to order by President Carol Carstensen at 6:10 p.m.
MEMBERS PRESENT: Carol Carstensen, Bill Keys, Lawrie Kobza, Juan José López, Ruth Robarts, Shwaw Vang
MEMBERS ABSENT: Johnny Winston, Jr.
STUDENT MEMBERS PRESENT: Jesse Ayala (alternate), Connor Gants
STAFF PRESENT: Joe Quick, Art Rainwater, Ann Wilson-Recording Secretary
1. Approval of Minutes
It was moved by Bill Keys and seconded by Juan José López to approve the Special Meeting minutes dated March 28, May 10, May 16, and June 27, 2005. Lawrie Kobza asked that the May 10 minutes be amended on page 3 to identify the Board members who were making statements. Student liaison advisory vote – aye. Motion to approve the minutes as amended carried unanimously by those present.
FOLLOW-UP: Lawrie Kobza asked why these minutes were submitted for approval so long after the meeting date and why more recent ones had already been approved; why are they completed out of sequence. Some of these dealing with budget would have been important to have earlier. Art Rainwater indicated he will follow-up.
2. Public Appearances
Abha Thakkar, representing the East PTO Coalition and Northside Planning Council
, thanked Board members for creating the Equity Task Force and giving it the consideration it deserves. As budgets are shrinking, it is important to see an equity policy; see it as a statement of priorities and a districtwide issue. Hope there is ample opportunity for input from the whole community and that the definition is broadened beyond finances to include curriculum and the quality of leadership.
3. Announcements
There were no announcements.
4. Modification of Madison School Board Policy 4047-Expungement
(text removed to permit focus on Equity Task Force in this post)

5. Creation of Resource Equity Task Force

(Written materials distributed: Draft Equity Task Force; Current Board Policy 9001 – Equity; attached to the original copy of these minutes.)
It was moved by Juan José López and seconded by Bill Keys to approve the creation of an Equity Task Force based on the draft charge, timeline, process and membership as presented.
It was agreed the following changes would be made:
o The timeline would begin in November 2005 and conclude with a report to the Board by March 31, 2006.
o Three, rather than two, adult participants from each attendance area.
o No staff person from Research and Evaluation.
o No Legal Counsel except on an as-needed basis.
o No Staff to the Task Force, although there will be Central Office co-chairs.
o Under Process:
3. Change this item to read, “Take testimony from Board members and the community.”
5. Change this item to read, “Recommend to Legal Counsel the principles to be included in a policy.”
6. Add a new item to read, “Review and respond to the proposed wording of a policy prepared by Legal Counsel.”
Lawrie Kobza distributed copies of current Board Policy 9001 – Equity and proposed a change to the charge for the Task Force.
A substitute motion was made by Lawrie Kobza, seconded by Ruth Robarts, to amend the charge so that it would read, “Recommend to the Board of Education maintenance of or revisions to the Board’s current equity policy that includes possible guidelines for implementing the current or proposed revised policy.”
• Disagree; hope for a solid, concrete definition.
• Need something more defined, more guidelines for making decisions in a time of restricted resources. Take broad view. Comfortable with reviewing current policy, but not to look only there. Hope task force will confront issues; nothing in the current policy helps make budget decisions.
• Support committee work before legal input. Not limit work to current policy.
• Good things in the current policy; task force could start with what we already have that has been reviewed and approved. Task force should not assume all parts of the policy are to be revised.
• Reminder that the work of the task force is advisory to the Board.
• Hope the Board seriously considers the work of the task force.
• Already have a policy that responds to concerns but has not been implemented, just replaced by the ERF. Answer has been to abandon existing policy rather than using it to respond to issues; replacing it with something that has no teeth. Improve what we have, make revisions, go forward.
• Supplemental allocation can always be increased – core of instruction needs to occur, supplemental adds to that. Different district when the policy was written. Documentation and plans exist and could be provided to the Board.
• As much as possible, bring language is line with current use.
Student liaison advisory vote – aye. Substitute motion failed 3-3 with Lawrie Kobza, Ruth Robarts, and Shwaw Vang voting aye.
Lawrie Kobza requested separation of approval of the charge to the Equity Task Force as contained within the original motion. There was consensus to separate the charge from the remaining structure of the Task Force. It was moved by Lawrie Kobza and seconded by Ruth Robarts to approve the original charge to the Task Force as presented. Student liaison advisory vote was aye. Motion carried 4-2 with Lawrie Kobza and Ruth Robarts voting no.
There was discussion about how participants would be selected. Carol Carstensen indicated that she and Vice President Johnny Winston, Jr. would make selections from names that are provided through self-nomination, recommendations received from parent and community groups, and those provided by other Board members. Their goal would be to have diverse participation. It was recommended by Lawrie Kobza and agreeable to all that at least 50% of the representatives come from (reside in) elementary school attendance areas that exceed the district average for low income students.
The main motion, as edited, to approve the creation of an Equity Task Force based on the draft charge, timeline, process and membership–Student liaison advisory vote was aye, motion carried 4-2 with Lawrie Kobza and Ruth Robarts voting no.
6. Other Business
There was no other business.
Ruth Robarts recused herself at this point. Student Representatives left at this time. Joe Quick and Art Rainwater left at this time.
Recessed at 8:02 p.m.
Reconvened at 8:15 p.m.
(The meeting continued in Executive Session)