Opinion - EGUSD processes quell, subvert parents concerns during presentation on cuts to Inclusive Education program

Protesters outside of EGUSD headquarters. | 

For about 15 years, Elk Grove News has reported on portions of almost every meeting of the Elk Grove City Council. Meeting processes have been consistent during this time, particularly regarding public comment. 


During a hearing, a presentation is made by the appropriate party, and the city council may question the presenter during and following their remarks. Following that, the public makes their comments, and when public comment is closed, the city council deliberates and makes its decision. 


The system is not perfect in providing a two-way dialogue with the public, but it does allow comments to be made after the presentation.  


At last night's Elk Grove Unified School District Trustees meeting, the process during the district's presentation to cuts on the Inclusive Education programs quelled and subverted parents' concerns. Those actions were accomplished by having public comment before Associate Superintendent David Riley explained cuts to the program. 


It may seem like a minor thing given the presentation was available ahead of the meeting, but that alone does not give full context to what is reported live. Invariably, more information, nuances, and texture is made during the actual presentation.


During the Trustee's deliberation, Gina Jamerson and Tony Perez suggested the public be brought back into the conversation to no avail. Public comments should be after a presentation so speakers can address a topic universally. 

  



Commenting on Superintendent Christopher Hoffman's suggestion of having a community forum, one parent on the EGUSD Inclusion Stays Facebook page called that a ruse. The parent said, "when Hoffman talks about a possible community forum… that's just the district pretending to listen… it's engagement as defined by the district - stakeholder appeasement." 


As Riley acknowledged during his presentation changes to the Inclusive Education program were poorly communicated to parents and staff. Riley's acknowledgment was an understatement. 


The handling of the changes to the Inclusive Education program exposed mounting troubles with the Elk Grove Unified School District Trustees and Administrators, and they are quickly losing credibility.


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