The Wake County school board took a step last week toward completing the last remaining action step required by AdvancED.
AdvancED had in its March 2011 report faulted the school board's then Republican majority for using resolutions to make decisions, bypassing the normal two-vote process for policies and often not providing the resolutions with advance notice.
The board voted last week to give initial approval to this new policy that would set the general scope of what board resolutions should be used for. It would also stipulate providing information on the resolutions ahead of time.
Jonathan Blumberg, filling in for ailing school board attorney Ann Majestic, told the board that the policy has two main points.
One point is that supporting material for resolutions, like other board action that's voted on, should generally be provided with at least 48 hours advance notice.
The other point is that resolutions shouldn't be a substitute for policy.
"The general way that the board is going to govern the school district: its operations and so on and so forth is through the adoption of policies and not through resolutions," Blumberg said. "But there are appropriate cases for resolutions. It’s just not in situations where you should have a policy.”
Board member Debra Goldman suggested strengthening the wording on what resolutions would do. She also wanted it more explicit that directives would be treated like resolutions.
Goldman said she liked Blumberg's definition from a prior meeting that resolutions capture a moment of time as opposed to dealing with something that's ongoing.
Board member Jim Martin said resolutions are clearly defined by Robert’s Rules of Orders. He said the board should stick with that because Robert's Rules is already used in board policy.
Martin said resolutions are a more formalized motion.
Blumberg said that the policy does note that there are some things that legally have to be done by resolution, such as adopting the budget.
Blumberg said that while resolutions often capture a moment of time that's not always the case so he suggested leaving the wording as is in the policy.
Blumberg said he felt the wording in the policy is as specific as they can get without overcomplicating it and making it more difficult.
It will take one more board vote before the policy is officially passed.
While the adoption of the policy could satisfy AdvancED's March 2011 report, it won't cover the response that Wake will have to provide on the complaint filed by the Wake County Taxpayers Association.