Editor’s Note: The following is a letter written by Kathleen Manor-Bautista and sent to the Williams Unified School District Board of Trustees on April 5, 2019.
WUSD Board of Trustees,
The following is an item that is listed on the agenda for the special board meeting to be held on Tuesday, April 9th. I have not been as active as a parent in the District as I should be; however, in light of recent events, I feel that now is the right time to start getting involved. I realize that my thoughts may not be beneficial to you, but because I am a registered voter in this District, it is my right and obligation to get my thoughts to you. They are as follows:
Regarding 7.1: Consideration and possible action concerning the approval of the Provisional Appointment to Fill Vacancy on Board of Education. The Board of Education will either suspend Board Bylaw 9223 and make an immediate provisional appointment to fill the Board vacancy caused by a Board member resignation or approve procedures in accordance with Board Bylaw 9223 to fill the Board vacancy.
What am I supposed to tell my children, and what exactly are you (Board members) going home and telling your own? Our children, YOUR students, need to learn how the government works, how a school board or a board of directors functions, but all the WUSD Board of Trustees and the superintendent are doing is showing the District’s parents, teachers, students and friends that a board of directors and the superintendent is above the law, and can just make up laws (in this case, Resolutions) as they go along. The Orozco-Lopez resignation was handed in right around March 13th or so; from that date there is normally a 60 day period of time in which the Board or superintendent should have advertised that there is a vacancy that needs to be filled by someone who resides in the WUSD. There is absolutely NO REASON to change the appointment policy when there is sufficient time to fill this vacancy. Seems like this resolution is a convenient way to appoint someone who has been “hand picked,” instead of allowing for the voting citizens of WUSD to be given the fair chance to apply and be interviewed for the vacancy on the Board.
The Board was ELECTED to pass and uphold board policy. Can anyone honestly say that is what is happening? Because each and every time I read an agenda, I am blown away, it seems that maybe an agenda should make mention of students and education, maybe buying some textbooks. An agenda item should have NOTHING to do with traveling out of the country. There is no reason to start up a program in Africa, where there is major unrest, violence and disease, when our students at home need to be taken care of. How many of the Board members who have students in the District, are signing their own children up to go study in Africa? My guess would be none of you. Keep that money in the District, with the students and teachers, where it belongs. There is no excuse for students at WHS to be using textbooks that are going on 15 plus years old. There is NO excuse for the elementary school to be without paraprofessionals when there is money in the budget for travel. There is ZERO reason for teachers to be spending thousands out of pocket for school supplies. Our students, my own children and yours, can stay home and work on their own “village,” there’s no need for them to go to Africa to construct a village for someone else.
– Kathleen Manor-Bautista
UPDATE: The Williams Unified School District Board voted unanimously to keep the process for filling the vacant seat as is. They begin advertising for the position and accepting applications as of March 10.