Is The School Board Awake?
In a recent school board meeting, the consent agenda included an item D, 2020-2021 Budget Amendments / Transfers Report. This report, along with the supporting documents, equaled 18 printed pages of detail of amounts moved from one budgetary account to another, with many of the items involving millions of dollars per line item. The total movement of dollars was in the hundreds of millions.
Linda Welborn, board representative from District 4, requested this Budget Amendments / Transfers Report be pulled from the consent agenda, which was granted.
When the meeting progressed to discussion of this report, Linda Welborn asked a series of questions that took about four minutes. School board member Anita Sharpe then asked a series of questions that took about three minutes. The board then voted to pass the report as written.
I am amazed that the majority of the board had no questions at all on 18 pages of figures that moved hundreds of millions of dollars around within the budget. Most of the board members would have allowed that report to go without any question at all if Ms. Welborn had not requested it be pulled from the “consent agenda.”
The definition of a consent agenda follows: A consent agenda groups the routine, procedural, informational and self-explanatory non-controversial items typically found in an agenda.
Hmmm, the majority of the existing school board members consider a report that moves hundreds of million of dollars around the budgetary system a routine non-controversial item. I find that disconcerting.