At a Modest Speed, Board Edges Slightly Closer to a CallBy Ari L. Noonan @ 1:00 PM April 24, 2012
The plodding School Board, methodically inching down a winding course toward a denouement in the case of the disputed adjuncts at El Marino Language School, is scheduled to take an uncertain step in tonight’s 7 o’clock meeting in Council Chambers.
A first reading is scheduled tonight for one dimension of a revamped policy, “community relations,” as opposed to volunteers. The policy portion seems to be accenting much stronger oversights – especially since El Marino’s program somehow escaped the notice certain school officials from the ‘80s to the present school year. Already some of the terminology in the new outline has prompted questions.
For two months, all District schools not named El Marino have been tapping their toes, awaiting a policy ruling on how to proceed when they want to deploy the kind of hirees El Marino has used, without protest, for a quarter century.
Last autumn, when Lin Howe School sought to emulate El Marino’s model, it was told no, and was forced to settle for less than it desired.
La Ballona School, too, is hoping to replicate a plan similar to El Marino’s. Their blueprint is in limbo until the School Board advances to decision-making mode.
Only two School Board members have school-age children, Laura Chardiet and Kathy Paspalis. Since Ms. Chardiet introduced a four-point clarification proposal two months ago – which received a chilly reception, except by Ms. Paspalis – the Board’s progress in the matter has been minimal at the maximum.
While the “community relations” portion of the policy under study this evening may be intended to demystify, mud remains on the windshield for Ms. Chardiet, for example.
“I think what they are trying to do is establish a policy for booster clubs,” she said. “They are trying to clarify. But that is what we are going to have to talk about tonight. When (the proposed policy) says ‘School-connected organizations are prohibited from hiring or directly paying District employees,’ it does not provide a definition of what a ‘District employee’ is.
“If ALLEM (Advocates for Learning Language, El Marino, the school booster club) already is doing that, how do you...?
“So obviously there is going to be a discussion.”
Ms. Chardiet said this policy piece “is a first step toward clarity.”
Meanwhile, Teachers Union President David Mielke will ask the Board to rescind the May 25 furlough day, the final off day of the year. “If they've got money for administrative raises, they've got money to keep the schools open,” he said.