Tossing the Baby 2

Originally published August 23, 2007

The other day the supe and I were talking about school (what else?) and I asked how the Title IX situation was shaping up.

We had left our board executive session late last month with the understanding that we were going to do everything in our power to not merely spend federal money equitably (which we already do), but we would somehow, by problem-solving and working with sports booster organizations, ensure that differences in booster organization funding doesn’t cause inequities. That’s a pretty tall order, but we think we can get the job done.

We don’t want to alienate patrons who contribute lots of time, work, and money by telling them that some of the fruits of their generosity will fund someone else’s kid in another sport. We need and encourage their generosity. And despite the fact that I mentioned reverting to 100% club sports in Tossing the Baby, we don’t want to do that either.

The board and the supe also left the board executive session with an admonishment from the attorney who studied the district’s sports program that we should not share all the information in the full compliance report. The supe and I were both a little surprised at that, because the public executive summary really didn’t leave any facts out, just a lot of verbiage that covered details that support the executive summary. Again, nothing substantive was left out of the publicly distributed executive summary.

When a lawyer warns you, you’d best listen. The state school board association lawyer, whom we had retained to do the compliance report, acted in good faith, which was to fact-find, support and protect her client (the school district, and the board). However, zipper-lip on the part of the district can really upset people. Loose-lip can do even more damage, for example, in personnel cases.

But the supe and I agreed that withholding the full report, especially since it contained nothing new, was not congruent with the reputation for transparency that we have been building for the last three years.

Long story short, the district’s own attorney (different attorney) reviewed the report, and much to our relief, agreed with us. The major metropolitan newspaper’s education reporter has gotten her wish – we sent her a copy of the full compliance report today.

Now all we need is for the parents who threatened lawsuits to hunker down with the district and get to work making things the best they can be in “our town.” Neither party needs to waste money on a “second opinion” compliance report. Our end goals, great sports experience for students, are the same.

The supe is enthusiastic about working with all parent sports groups, meeting the challenges, and finding equitable resolutions. Like I said to begin with, athletics is important for everyone.

Posted by Repairman
Labels: athletics, Boardsmanship, leadership

2 comments:
Eric said…
Boy, I sure hope this works and doesn’t somehow backfire!
August 4, 2007 4:32 AM Repairman said…
Drpezz: 😀
August 4, 2007 4:33 PM

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