Prescott Unified School District (PUSD) has a new President of their Governing Board: Dr. Joan Fleming.
Tonight, at the regularly scheduled PUSD School Board Meeting, Board Member Steve Campbell nominated Dr. Joan Fleming to be the President for 2010. Outgoing President Dr. Andy Newton seconded it, and the vote was unanimous in her favor.
Dr. Fleming looked pleased as she took the President's seat center stage. Noting that this was her 16th year on the Board, Fleming smiled widely and said with a little laugh, "I've enjoyed almost every minute of it..." She then promptly set a 3 minute time limit for presentations. Listen below:
While there was little controversy regarding the new Board President position, there were some issues that did create some dissension. It's been the District's policy to raise rental fees of facilities by 5% every other year, and this is the year to raise it. However, Campbell expressed his concerns that it might mean they receive even less in rental fees than they have been. Board Member Dee Navarro agreed with Campbell, stating, "5% of zero is still zero." However, the raise in fees passed by a vote of 3-2.
A new course for Business Leadership was added at Prescott High School for the 2010-11 year, but this will be funded by the Mountain Institute as part of the Joint Technological Education District (JTED) offerings.
As far as curriculum goes, new math textbooks will be available for 60 days for preview by the public. With the state and federal standards being revised, the Board was told that PUSD students are not going to be able to keep up if they do not receive the new textbooks. Despite concerns about potential soft capital sweeps and mid-year budget cuts by the Arizona State Legislature, the Board voted to have the review period, with the understanding that this is not a commitment for a purchase. It was also noted wryly that most textbooks put out for advance review are never examined by the public.
The last item to be considered before voting on the Consent Agenda read: Consider reviewing and adopting Police Services Advisories, Volume 21, Number 3, for November 2009, for Policy Advisories 341-365.
The 24 changes, of which a summary by Kevin Kapp was included raised vocal concerns from PUSD teachers and staff, but before the discussion was even started, Campbell made a motion to discuss the policies, but not to vote on them at this meeting. District Supervisor Kevin Kapp agreed, noting that although these items were being recommended by the Arizona State Board Association because the changes reflected new state laws, some of those laws are also a matter of current litigation.
Three PUSD employees stood up to protest the changes, one even going so far to say that the new laws were simply retaliation from the Legislature because of the March 4, 2009 protests at the State Capitol against budget cuts. All three expressed relief to hear that the Board was not going to ratify these changes at last night's meeting.
View Kevin Kapp's Summary of the Changes
View the Proposed Policy changes