Board’s best interest

  • Published in Editorials

Now that the Harwood Unified Union School District Board (HUUSD) has completed the complex and rigorous task of creating one unified budget for our newly merged school district, the board has been debating how to create a set of policies.

In their last few meetings, board members have heard from Washington West Supervisory Union Superintendent Brigid Nease who has repeatedly recommended that the board adopt WWSU’s existing set of policies. This would guarantee that the board is operating with a guiding set of policies and it would take the pressure off the board to sift through all of the policies as quickly as possible.

Board members have pushed back against a blanket adoption of the existing polices, with some advocating for reviewing each individual policy before adopting it.

The HUUSD Board must adopt a set of policies by July 1, 2017, to operate and the board simply does not have enough time to review each of the policies and revise them. There are more than 100 policies and many of them are statutorily required and if changed they would need to go through a lengthy legal process which could be expensive.

The existing set of policies have also already been read by and adopted by each of the local school boards in past years, so reviewing all of them would be borderline redundant.

However, if the board does have specific policies that they feel need to be changed, it will still be able to revise them after it adopts the full set and this would effectively accomplish both goals of providing security and guidance while tailoring the policies to meet the specific needs of a unified board.

The adoption of the WWSU policy manual will be warned and voted on at the next HUUSD Board meeting, and The Valley Reporter believes that it is in the HUUSD Board’s and, ultimately, the community’s best interest to adopt them and move onto revision thereafter.

Repeatedly this fall procedural and ethical issues were brought up in conversation during HUUSD Board meetings. With an adopted policy manual, board members would have something concrete to fall back on to steer them in times of uncertainty, which there very well may be more of as the Act 46 implementation process continues.

The board has enough work on its plate without making the process harder than it already is.