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HUSD meeting, March 9

I’m working on a bunch of stuff today but wanted to provide a spot for comments on last night’s meeting.

Faith Ringgold supporters turned out in force after learning that their school is one of the things that is being looked at as a possible cut. It wasn’t on the agenda, but apparently the FITAG financial panel discussed it the night before.

Budget update: Positive variance of nearly $2.8 million that was found since the first interim report means that as long as the state passes tax extensions that provide school funding, HUSD will have a qualified certification. It’s not positive because a structural deficit still exists that will whittle the district back into the red by the end of FY13.

There was an odd reconvening of the closed session on personnel matters when Trustee Heredia wanted clarification on a reelection of certain teachers. Closed sessions can’t be just called on a whim — they need to be noticed just like any meeting. But I spoke with the board president and she said it was a continuance of an item that had been noticed, so technically wasn’t a violation of the Brown Act, just kind of weird.

I understand that Trustee Armas did not recuse himself from the item involving administrative staff furloughs/workday reductions, a concern that was bubbling in the comment section. There was an explanation of why it wasn’t a conflict of interest by Donna Becnel, but I had left the meeting by then. I have a request out for a recap of said explanation, will let you know.

UPDATE: Becnel said “If the spouse is part of a larger group that is affected by a decision, then it is fine for him to vote. It is the difference between of a group of positions vs. an individual employee.” She said that if Armas’ spouse was in line for an individual¬†promotion, he would “absolutely be conflicted out.”

Ok, I gotta run, hope this is enough to chew on for now!

Eric Kurhi