Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Released Time Questions for the Board

At tonight's school board meeting Release Time (R/T) will once again be on the menu (err, Agenda) for discussion. Under Old Business - No Action Requested is Item 8.1 Release Time for Religious Instruction.

This means another night of discussion or, as some might call it, argument and division. No vote tonight. How much time will be used to repeat what has been said at previous meetings? Will the Board Chair ask speakers during Public Participation to speak about "new" issues or concerns, rather than wasting everybody's time with points that have already been raised?

And will the Board  Chair do the same with the Trustees? When they drag out words and thoughts that have already been pointed out, which they ought to remember as they move toward a future night when they will actually vote on it, will the Board Chair say, "We've already heard that. Do you have something new?"

Q. How many Richland 2 students are expected to take advantage of Release Time for Religious Instruction?

Q. How many students at which schools are expected to be involved?

Q. What is the District's estimate of the cost to implement and administer the Release Time Program?

Q. What has been the cost so far?

Q. What is the real liability? The District's lawyer should provide a written opinion. The statute does not eliminate the district's liability. It says only that the (religious) sponsoring entity will be liable during the time the student is with it. A plaintiff's attorney will quickly see the District's deep pocket, when anything goes awry.

Q. What impact on teachers and staff is expected?

Q. What will be the cost for teachers to help R/T students make up their homework and missed instructional time in the classroom?

Q. How many teachers are expected to quit over the extra workload?

The school board is expected to be executives who make decisions. Why are so many trustees down in the weeds, poking around, and doing the job that staff is supposed to be doing?

Cut out the campaign speeches. Ask short, direct questions of the staff and listen to their answers.

Is all this time and expense worth letting a student out of school for one hour of religious instruction per week??? 

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