Edina School Board Chair Wants to Limit Public Access

Edina_Public_Schools_logo.jpgErica Allenberg, chairman of the Edina School Board and a candidate for re-election in November, proposed to limit availability of the time devoted to Hearing from Members of the Public at Edina School Board meetings. This was at the Work Session on September 13. The entire School Board will be discussing this proposal later.

Every Edina School Board meeting allows time to Hear from Members of the Public. Anyone can sign up to address the School Board for 3 minutes. They just need to sign up ahead of time. This, along with the entire meeting, is recorded for anyone to review at a later date.

Allenberg has proposed to not record the “Hearing from the Members of the Public” portion of the meeting. It would be only heard by the 35 people who are actually attending that particular meeting. This is a bad idea.

The role of the School Board is to represent parents and students. The wider that the content of school board meetings is available, the better the public is informed on the issues of the day. This includes everything brought up as part of the community input.

I have heard discussions of school start times; bus schedules; school trips; academics; and many other subjects. In this segment, I heard a 4th grade girl talk about her struggles to learn to read in 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade. She had to leave the Edina School system to get the help she needed to learn to read. Many say that you “learn to read” in grades 1-3 and then “read to learn” the rest of your life. She read her 3-minute speech. It moved me that she came back to advocate for help for others like her.

At the meeting on September 13, two doctors spoke about the state of the health care. If you could hear it, you would be moved as well. The head of the Edina Teachers Union and 5 other teachers spoke to the importance of coming to agreement on the contract with the Teachers Union.

Under Erica Allenberg’s proposal, you would never hear any of this input unless you attended the School Board meeting. I think she wants to limit those who disagree with the direction of the School Board.

If you agree with me that the entire School Board meeting should be recorded and available to the public, send an email. One email goes to every School Board member. Do you think we should be able to hear everything that goes on in School Board meetings? Tell them. Email your thoughts to: [email protected]