Tomorrow night’s Deliberative Session is poised to make history. Today, adults were holding signs in front of the high school urging parents and students to “Support Timberlane.” A vast social media campaign has been in the works featuring students holding up signs declaring that they are not a number. At least one newspaper ad has been taken out by the teachers’ union, and the opposing side has sent post cards have to every household in the district.
A crowd of 1000 people is expected.
Why? Because Arthur Green is going to make a motion to lower the budget by $2.8 million. In prior discussion with the moderator, Steven Ranlett, Arthur was to be given 15 minutes for a slide presentation on the underpinnings of his well researched argument that Timberlane staffing is bloated. Without Arthur, Deliberative would be the usual sleepy rubber stamp it has been well into the past.
Mr. Ranlett allowed me only 3 minutes.
At 3:45 pm today, 27 hours before the event, the SAU’s Ms. Belcher, has announced that due to the volume of requested presentations that the moderator will limit each presenter to 10 minutes. Cutting material from a presentation is far more difficult than adding material and this last minute change of plan is unfair and outrageous.
Bobble Head Boards
Everyone attending Deliberative should know that the school board as a whole is not shown the Deliberative presentation in advance nor is the budget committee. We all sit up there like we know what is being said, but lots of it will be as new to us as it will be to you. At the last school board meeting, I asked to see the presentation which will be made on our behalf tomorrow. Of course I was refused. It is never vetted with the board, apparently.
Who writes it? I have no idea! All I know is that I’m supposed to sit on the stage like a good school board member and pretend I agree with everything being said even though the facts and arguments will likely be new to me. Same is true with the Budget Committee. We are all to be happy bobble heads on stage.
A district interested in a fair exchange of ideas would not keep their presentation hidden from its own elected officials. It would not unfairly and at the last moment limit a critical presentation by an opponent. In fact, it would do everything possible to facilitate open information and debate.
You will be able to see those values on display tomorrow night.