There they were, Jocelyn Rhynard, John McManus, Mohammed Al-Hamdani, Rev William Harris, Reverend Walker, the superintendent, their legal council, sitting in Board Chambers agreeing to join together with an illegal meeting of the Dayton City Commission where Nan Whaley, Jeff Mims and Chris Shaw to create a task force – consisting of mostly people who don’t live in Dayton to provide guidance of the Dayton Public Schools.
First up: There was no legal meeting of the DPS board to discuss and authorize and direct the Superintendent in this course of action. Rhynard and Al-Hamdani haven’t been sworn in yet. Technically a quorum would be Harris, McManus, Taylor and Walker. Superintendent Libbie Lolli is acting to subvert the new boards authority before it has even been seated.
Required action: voiding this action until the new board has been sworn in and this has been discussed at a Business meeting. Reprimands should be handed to Lolli and the board attorney for violating state law.
On the City Commission side- the city prosecutor should file against the commission for holding a public meeting, without proper calling of a meeting. It is a violation of the Sunshine laws.
Their action is also null and void.
As to the “Task force” – since the Ohio Constitution puts a strong emphasis on local control- and grants school board members special leeway (in that it’s incredible hard to remove them for cause- one of which is residency- see Baguirov) there is no way a task force of non-residents should have input on the future of DPS – at least until it’s taken over by the state (which as this continues, looks more imminent).
Acting Superintendent Libbie Lolli is not looking too good on the PR front already. First she sabotaged her tenure by letting associate superintendent Sheila Burton spring an incompetent presentation on school utilization via spread sheet in the Dec Review session. This opened up a total and complete shits storm since most of the underutilized schools were on the West Side. The lack of a proper prepared statement and course of action has led to a Dayton Business Journal article fueling fear mongering of 9 building closings (the original estimate was up to 3).
The press release on the DPS site concerning this task force (where the meeting wasn’t properly announced through channels- I didn’t get any wind of this until both Ch 2 called and Mama Glenn sent me a message on FB)- only had a non-functioning email link on how to suggest ideas, with no background info (you are supposed to have ideas without the data to work with) and no listing of the people on the task force and their qualifications.
My post, “DPS doesn’t need no stinkin taks force” is the only place I know where you can find the listing of members and their relation to the district.
To fully understand the folly of this nascent boards actions, they are sworn to protect the district and have a fiduciary responsibility to oversea the district- giving Dr. Tom Lasley, head of a competing board, funded with Dayton tax dollars, that actually serves to fund kids who go to private pre-schools instead of Dayton’s 5 start pre-schools – leading to underutilized buildings is flat out criminal.
This task force idea is a good reason to start a search for a Superintendent smart enough to know when she’s being played.
A good superintendent’s first plan of action should have been to start working on identifying ways to bring students back to the district. Apparently we have a superintendent who wants to retreat instead of fight the battle that needs to be fought.
I’m going to leave this board with two words to consider to solve your problems, or at least have a real shot at not closing buildings and bring leadership back to this district: David Lawrence.