School Board Policy Violations
In a rushed vote to close the swimming pool and repurpose the building on February 10, 2015 School Board meeting we witnessed the board violating numerous policies and procedures, citing an argument that this board does not follow its own policies and are attempting (February 24, 2015) to suspend or delete a policy that they have already violated.
The vote on February 10, 2015 to close and repurpose the pool violated policy #4355, which states " The Shelton School District is committed to supporting a quality Aquatics Program for the district, community and southern Mason County. The district will assume budget responsibilities, out of the General Fund budget of the school district, for utility costs, general maintenance, chemicals, a swimming instructor, swimming coaches as authorized, and an Aquatic Director."
The board also violated policy #1320, which prohibits the board from suspending policies in the manner in which they did, it states "A policy of the board will be subject to suspension by a majority vote of the members present, provided all board members have received notice of the meeting and the notice included a proposal to suspend the policy and an explanation of the purpose. If such proposal is not made in writing in advance of the meeting, a policy may be suspended only by a unanimous vote of all board members present. " Since there was no previous proposal to suspend the policy then it needed to be an unanimous vote, which it was not, it was 4-1, therefore in violation of this policy.
The Board also violated policy #1310 which states" When the board of directors is considering a district policy or amendment to policy that is not expressly or by implication authorized by state or federal law, but which will promote the education of kindergarten through twelfth grade students in public schools(the aquatics program is part of the curriculum offered to the k-12 students) ...the proposed policy will be described in any notice of the meetings at which the policy will be considered, if the notice is issued pursuant to the Open Public Meetings Act, Ch. 42.30 RCW. The board of directors will provide an opportunity for public written and oral comment on such policies before adoption or amendment." None of which has been done.
The superintendent also violated this policy #1310 which states "The superintendent will develop such administrative procedures as are necessary to ensure consistent implementation of policies adopted by the board." There certainly was not any consistent implementation of board policy.
With this kind of disregard for the policies it becomes suspect that the Board has likely been violating other policies. How is the school board to be held accountable, how are we to accept a vote that is against their own policies, and how can we be assured that this will not continue in the future?
Laura Vance, Shelton WA
February 26, 2015