We had about 40 people get together Friday night with strong representation from the northeast, southwest and southeast part of the city. Two people from the northwest were there.
The meeting agenda consisted of reviewing the budget process, identifying the goals, allies/opponents, decisionmakers and devising tactics to get the decisionmakers to deliver us the goals. The bulk of the meeting was taken up with identifying the goal (what is it that we want out of this budget process?) We identified the decisionmakers (schoolboard, regents and city council) and scheduled subcommittee meetings for tactics (Sunday, 2pm North Winton Village Neighborhood Safety Center, 1933 East Main Street) and there are ongoing budget analysis and media meetings.
Brainstorm – Goals: The bulk of the 19 ideas fit into 2 categories related to
- transparency of the budget
- protecting school funding
- changing the distribution ratio (schools versus non school funding)
- protecting sound basic education – small classrooms, specials (art, music, language, library, AP) and support systems
- stopping Brizard’s expensive initiatives that he has taken from the Broad Institute playbook without any community input
There was also some effort to capture these principles with appropriate messaging
- No public audit no budget
- Stop experimenting with our children’s future
- Show us the $ – full budget disclosure
- Don’t take $ from children
- Our children deserve a sound basic education
There seemed to be agreement that Brizard has to go.
Other items were identified that need to be dealt with over the long haul
- Board members should have children in school
- Qualified substitutes
- Elimination of benchmark tests
Several ideas for tactics were started
- Running an alternative board slate
- Corporate boycott campaign
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