Skip directly to content

Cindy testifies at the Capitol!

on Fri, 05/31/2013 - 00:02

TFPE President, Cindy Barnard tells of her experience testifying before the State House:

Taxpayers for Public Education has been concerned about  DCSD executive sessions. In February, 2012, Anne Kleinkopf, TFPE director, addressed the Douglas County BOE, asking the Board to enter into executive session properly. However, what goes on during the twice monthly, lengthy executive sessions remains a mystery. When I learned of House Bill 13-1313 which, had it passed, would have provided some transparency to executive session, I felt it important to testify in support of the Bill.

What a pleasure it was to testify to our legislators. The Bill was publicly discussed. Everyone was polite and Roberts Rules of Order were followed. There was no limit to my address and perhaps most refreshing of all, the legislators listened to what I had to say, asked questions and even more astonishing, I was able to respond to their comments and questions.

This experience was quite the contrast to what takes place in the DCSD board room where policy is rarely discussed  in front of the public, where a community member addressing the Board is unable to make a statement in response to Board members' comments, where there is an enormous clock in front of the person addressing the Board, where a very loud gong will sound after two minutes, and where an armed security guard will escort community members away from the podium if they address the Board for more than the closely monitored two minutes.

House Bill 13-1313 did not pass, however it was a pleasure to speak to elected officials (both Republicans and Democrats) who were genuinely interested in public input. The Douglas County School District Board of Education could learn a lot from our legislators at the capital.