1 1 THE BALTIMORE CITY BOARD OF SCHOOL COMMISSIONERS 2 3 BALTIMORE

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1    THE BALTIMORE CITY BOARD OF SCHOOL COMMISSIONERS

2

3             BALTIMORE CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

4

5                   200 EAST NORTH AVENUE

6                   FIRST FLOOR BOARD ROOM

7               BALTIMORE, MARYLAND 21202

8

9                   PUBLIC BUSINESS MEETING

10

11                      JUNE 24, 2003

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13

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18

19

20   Reported by:

21   Emily Rose Hoffman, Notary Public




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1    APPEARANCES:

2

3            PATRICIA L. WELCH, BOARD CHAIR

4            COLENE DANIEL

5            KENNETH JONES

6            CAMAY MURPHY

7            DOROTHY SIEGEL

8            SAMUEL STRINGFIELD

9            C. WILLIAM STRUEVER

10           DAVID STONE

11           CARMEN V. RUSSO, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

12           CASSANDRA JONES, CHIEF ACADEMIC OFFICER

13           MARK SMOLARZ, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER


14

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21




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1                   P R O C E E D I N G S

2                   -    -     -   -   -   -

3            COMMISSIONER WELCH:       The meeting is now

4    called to order, 6:00.

5                Motion to approve the minutes of May

6    13.

7                Properly moved and seconded.   All in

8    favor say aye.     Those opposed?

9                (Motion is passed.)

10           COMMISSIONER WELCH:       Minutes are

11   approved.   As usual during this meeting, we

12   observe a moment of silence for those persons who

13   have passed on.    I'm not sure of the last name

14   but I did read in the paper this morning that --

15               (Applause.)

16           COMMISSIONER WELCH:       -- one of the

17   teachers that -- I think it is Forest Park High

18   School, who also worked at Carver, has passed on,

19   and we certainly want to remember her and the

20   contributions she made to the system, and also

21   any others whose names we can't call.      I think




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1    her name is Artressa.   Yes.

2            COUNCILMAN STOKES:     Secretary passed

3    also of the same school.

4            COMMISSIONER WELCH:    We certainly duly

5    note that the secretary at the same school has

6    also passed on.   We ask that we observe a moment

7    of silence.

8                (Silence is observed.)

9            COMMISSIONER WELCH:    We thank you.

10           We move now to presentations and awards.

11   We have a presentation from the George -- or to a

12   George Kelson pre-K Elementary School.

13           COMMISSIONER STRUEVER:       I would like to

14   give a little introduction to this very short

15   presentation.

16           COMMISSIONER WELCH:    William

17   Pinderhughes is not with you tonight?

18           COMMISSIONER STRUEVER:       Hopefully, they

19   will be here at some future date.

20           COMMISSIONER WELCH:    Usually you present

21   together.




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1               COMMISSIONER STRUEVER:   My company has

2    had the joy of working with many of our schools

3    in recent years in community service projects,

4    particularly with our Jim Rouse Community Service

5    Day in memory of Jim Rouse, a very important man

6    to my company and myself.   And we have had the

7    particular joy of working with Enterprise

8    Foundation in Sandtown-Winchester, which was --

9    efforts to transform Sandtown was one of Jim's

10   great works.    It was his real joy in life in his

11   last years, totally committed to turning that

12   neighborhood around, to prosper once again.     And

13   my belief is the finest work that has been going

14   on in Sandtown and with Enterprise is with Alice

15   Pinderhughes and George C. Kelson elementary

16   schools.

17              COMMISSIONER WELCH:   William

18   Pinderhughes.

19              COMMISSIONER STRUEVER:   Yes.   We had the

20   joy a couple years ago of doing a library and

21   resource center as a gift with Enterprise to the




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1    Kelson school, and we have done a lot of work.

2    We did a big playground with the Enterprise

3    Women's Network at William Pinderhughes, and it

4    has been a lot of fun for our people to see the

5    incredible great work going on in these two

6    schools.

7               A few months ago, the people from the

8    community and Enterprise and from the schools

9    came and said that they would really like to

10   continue the excellent progress they have had in

11   the two schools, great test scores, gains in

12   student achievement, by becoming a pre-K to 8,

13   which so happens fits nicely with our CEO's

14   policy, the Board's policy to create more smaller

15   community-based learning communities, and pre-K

16   to 8 is something we believe in.   There was

17   receptive ears when they came in and met with

18   Carmen, and when the idea was presented to the

19   Board not long after, that we should go forward

20   with this concept of building on success.

21              Unfortunately, Alice Pinderhughes isn't




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1    big enough to fit pre-K to 8 right now.    My hope

2    is in some future years, we had done plans to do

3    an auditorium-gym expansion to the school,

4    because it is one of these schools that has one

5    of these tiny, little multipurpose rooms that's a

6    cafeteria, gym, auditorium.   Really does not

7    work, and particularly not only doesn't work for

8    the school itself, but the school as a community

9    resource, and in Sandtown, that's been big a big

10   goal with those two schools, to really make them

11   a part of the community in many, many different

12   ways.

13            My hope would be that we will be able

14   to come back when the state school construction

15   gets going, and perhaps we can make an

16   announcement, moving forward with that much

17   needed expansion.

18            But what we can do right now is commit

19   to going forward with George K. Kelson.    And I

20   wanted to hear from the team, and then at the

21   end, I will make my little announcement.




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1               MS. PAMELA TERRY:   Good evening board of

2    commissioners and friends and visitors today.     My

3    name is Pamela Terry, and I am the principal of

4    George K. Kelson Elementary School.    I'm here

5    tonight really to express the excitement of our

6    parents and the community and our teaching staff

7    regarding the expansion to from pre-kindergarten

8    through eighth grade.

9               Yesterday, we had, as a formality, our

10   fifth-grade closing, and at the end of that

11   closing, many of our fifth graders were just in

12   tears because they thought they were leaving, and

13   I really couldn't tell them until it was a

14   definite decision.   But after seeing the tears,

15   we actually let them know that they would be

16   staying with us for another year.    And I tell

17   you, their parents and the children were just so

18   excited.

19              We at Kelson intend to provide a really

20   nurturing, familiar learning climate for these

21   boys and girls as they continue their studies




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1    with us through to eighth grade in the coming

2    years.   We know the boys' and girls' strengths

3    and weaknesses.   Our staff and our administration

4    there, we really have a good idea of what the

5    boys and girls need in grades six through eight,

6    and we would like to continue our work with these

7    boys and girls.

8              I also would like to thank and commend

9    our excellent business partners, many of whom are

10   with us today of tonight; the Enterprise

11   Foundation, Struever Brothers, Eccles & Rouse,

12   also Child First Initiative and Build, who

13   provided an excellent after-school program within

14   the school.   We, along with those business

15   partners, intend to create a plan that will be

16   outstanding for George Kelson Elementary School.

17   It is already a super school, but we intend to

18   make it the best in Baltimore City.

19             I would like to introduce to you

20   tonight Tina Hike-Hubbard, who is the educational

21   program director for the Enterprise Foundation.




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1    She holds in her hand the blueprint for Kelson

2    Elementary School, which I have been just been

3    exposed to tonight, which is really making me

4    excited and nervous at the same time.   It has

5    been created by W Architecture and Struever

6    Brothers, Eccles & Rouse.

7            (Applause.)

8            MS. TINA HIKE-HUBBARD:   From

9    Enterprise's standpoint, I just wanted to point

10   out to the Board of Commissioners what we are

11   going to do to support of the K-8 efforts at

12   Kelson, especially the continuation of what we

13   have already done at schools, working on support

14   and curriculum for the schools, instruction and

15   core knowledge, professional development for the

16   teachers and principal, staff at the school.     To

17   obtain technology, staff support, anything that's

18   going to reduce children's barriers to learning

19   is what we are interested in doing.   We are going

20   to partner in Pam Terry and Dr. Fick (phonetic)

21   over the summer to outline a plan for how we can




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1    specifically support the school.     And I also

2    brought partners with us:   Enterprise Women's

3    Network chairperson for education, Susan Spector,

4    and Pam Malester who is the new co-chair, along

5    with Frances Wright, of the Enterprise Women's

6    Network.   We are having a change.   You met some

7    of the folks last time.   These are our one of our

8    new co-chair.   They are going to briefly tell you

9    how they are going to also do fund-raising

10   support for this K-8 initiative.

11              MS. SUSAN SPECTOR:   I'm Susan Spector.

12   It is my privilege to serve as the Enterprise

13   Women's Network education program director, or

14   chair, I should say.

15              I want to just quickly outline for you

16   what the Women's Network has done for education

17   in the Sandtown-Winchester area over the past

18   five years and what we intend to keep doing.

19              One of our programs has been a

20   renovation and development effort in school

21   libraries, in which we have added 6,000 new books




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1    to the libraries at Kelson and Pinderhughes.     We

2    have also had a Spearhead program at both schools

3    that was to provide a music program for the kids,

4    in which this year, 40 kids participated.

5             We had a magnificent donation of a

6    playground donated to the Pinderhughes school.

7    We have held fund-raisers for the HIPY program,

8    the Home Instruction for Preschool Youngsters.

9    We have provided a volunteer service day in which

10   hundreds of volunteers each year have helped

11   clean, paint, and plant, and installed program --

12   I'm sorry, the playground at the two schools.

13            I am going to save my pride and joy is

14   the last item I would like to mention.   I helped

15   create a mentoring program under the auspices of

16   the Women's Network three years ago, and it has

17   been a tremendous success, in which women of all

18   ages and from all walks of life in the city and

19   the suburbs come to mentor girls twice a week

20   during the school -- I'm sorry, twice a month

21   during the school year.   And I think the best




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1    example I can give you of our success is to read

2    briefly a couple of lines from a letter that one

3    little girl wrote to Pam Malester, who is also a

4    mentor.   It says -- I won't read all of it.

5    Couple of highlights.

6              Dear Mrs. Pam.   I really enjoyed the

7    things you do for me.   You played with me.     You

8    made me feel happy.   I thank you for the things

9    you gave me.   I enjoy being with my heart

10   and your heart together.    I have something from

11   the bottom of my heart.    Here it comes.   Your

12   eyes are so beautiful that they melt an iceberg.

13   There is a flower by your house that brings peace

14   and love to you.

15             COMMISSIONER WELCH:    Whoa.   How did you

16   like that, Pam?

17             MS. PAMELA MALESTER:   I teared up.   And

18   if you could read the whole thing, I'm sure all

19   of you would be in tears.   She really is

20   remarkable little girl.

21             As you all heard, I am a mentor at




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1    Kelson Elementary School, and it has, in fact,

2    been a wonderful experience, but I would also

3    like to announce tonight that the Enterprise

4    Women's Network is having the first presentation

5    of the Tony Award-winning Hairspray on September

6    8th, and we have raised so far over $300,000 to

7    support Enterprise education programs in

8    Baltimore City schools.

9             (Applause.)

10           MS. PAMELA MALESTER:   And a good deal of

11   those funds will go to support this K through 8

12   expansion that we are talking about tonight.    And

13   over the next few years, the Enterprise Women's

14   Network will continue to support Enterprise's

15   education programs throughout, in the Baltimore

16   City schools, by raising additional funds with

17   our partners.

18            So we are here.   We are going to be

19   raising funds to help and make a difference in

20   the Baltimore City schools where Enterprise has

21   its programs.




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1             COMMISSIONER STRUEVER:   Thanks.   Because

2    it really is what you do that really make this

3    all possible, and that brings us to our budget

4    issue.   As you know, the school system has been

5    dealing with a tough budget situation, and on the

6    capital side it has been as difficult as on the

7    operating side.   And my fellow board member, also

8    with me retiring tonight, Colene, has had a tough

9    job trying to figure out what to do with not a

10   lot of money.

11            We have 178 schools and it has really

12   been -- it's been a heartbreaker for all of us,

13   thinking about what we would like to do to make

14   good school facilities for all our children, to

15   be able to have pre-K to 8's in every community,

16   to have small high schools in every community, to

17   have air conditioning in every school, to have

18   windows that have glass in every school, to have

19   libraries in every school, all these things that

20   we so desperately want to do, we don't have the

21   money to do.    There is a line item in the kind of




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1    wish list for our capital budget of $500,000 to

2    do the conversion, to do the design and

3    construction of the Kelson School pre-K to 8.

4    And it just so happens that I have been talked

5    with Enterprise and Barn Harvey (phonetic) for

6    some time for something that might help that we

7    could do in Sandtown of about $500,000.    What a

8    great fit.

9             So, with that, I think it is going to

10   be a lot of fun this summer, my brother and the

11   whole gang out there, doing science lab and

12   bringing light into the schools, and maybe like

13   plexan instead of glass, it is going to be

14   something, that so many of our schools have

15   cloudy, mucky things instead of windows.   So we

16   are going to bring daylight into Kelson, and

17   classrooms, and do all the other things that we

18   need to do to make this pre-K to 8.   And very

19   especially we are going to do a science lab.

20            We are excited about being able to make

21   this parting gift to the school system and in




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1    memory of Jim Rouse.    And I hope that my company

2    can be back sometime in the not too distant

3    future to be part of a similar celebration about

4    going forward with Alice Pinderhughes -- William

5    Pinderhughes -- because I know we are going to be

6    in big trouble from the principal, because I know

7    we painted the library doors the wrong color and

8    I know you can get in big trouble if you don't do

9    things right over there.

10            So it has been so much fun for our

11   subcontractors, our suppliers, for our people to

12   work in the schools.    It just it is such an

13   apparent blessing to have the opportunity to

14   help. It is to easy to see the great good benefit

15   that comes out of that kind of effort.   So it

16   really is a privilege to be a part of this

17   partnership with you guys.

18           COMMISSIONER K. JONES:    Half a million

19   dollars is classical.

20           (Applause.)

21           COMMISSIONER DANIEL:    Just so you can go




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1    back and let Pinderhughes know, the capital

2    budget has a million line item, and half of that

3    is to be used for Pinderhughes.    So we will

4    continue to close the last floor, the top floor,

5    as promised.    So that will be done as well.   We

6    should have then the whole program covered for

7    both schools, you know, pre-K to 5 and pre-K to 8


8    for both schools.   So there you are.

9               COMMISSIONER WELCH:   Isn't that nice?

10              Probably six years ago now, really, the

11   State of Maryland, the City of Baltimore formed a

12   partnership with the school system, and one of

13   the things that partnership called for was a New

14   Board of School Commissioners.    I would estimate

15   that there were probably one hundred persons

16   whose names were submitted for the nine positions

17   on the Board.   After interviews, several of them,

18   it was determined that nine persons would take

19   their seats as members of the Board.    Three of

20   those members will be leaving the Board as of

21   tonight.   And I have asked that there be no




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1    tears, Mr. Struever.   We don't --

2            COMMISSIONER STRUEVER:    Too late.

3            COMMISSIONER WELCH:     We don't know what

4    on earth he is going to do with himself when he

5    can't come over here to work on committees and to

6    serve on this Board, but as a tribute to Bill

7    Struever, to Tyson Tildon and Colene Daniel, we

8    put together some proclamations that will say to


9    them in a small way how much we really appreciate

10   the work that they have done.

11           Proclamation:   Whereas Baltimore City

12   public schools are among -- this is Tyson's?

13            Whereas, Baltimore City Public Schools

14   are among the most important social institutions

15   in our great city; and Whereas, Baltimore City

16   Public Schools have been among the finest,

17   proudest school systems in the United States; and

18   Whereas, by the spring of 1997, this great school

19   system had come to be in need of substantial

20   improvements, resulting in the passage of Senate

21   Bill 795; and Whereas, the new nine-member board




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1    was appointed by an agreement among the state

2    superintendent of schools, the Mayor of

3    Baltimore, and the Governor of Maryland; and

4    Whereas, Dr. Tyson Tildon was both appointed to

5    that New Board of School Commissioners and was

6    elected by his fellow board members to be the

7    first chairman of the board; and Whereas, Dr.

8    Tildon served five years as chair and sixth year

9    as board member, thereby completing two full

10   terms; and Whereas, Dr. Tildon served with

11   singular wisdom, grace, and determination to

12   impart high standards throughout the system;

13   Whereas, during Dr. Tildon's remarkable tenure,

14   the system's students made tremendous progress in

15   both reading and mathematics; Whereas, the

16   percentage of the system's students graduating

17   from high school rose dramatically; and Whereas,

18   Senate Bill 795 requires all board members retire

19   after serving two full terms, and June 30, 2003,

20   marks the end of two full terms for Dr. Tildon;

21   Therefore, with greatest respect and admiration,




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1    the remaining members of the Board of School of

2    Commissioners thank and honor Dr. Tyson Tildon

3    and declare him to be an honorary lifetime member

4    of the Board.

5              (Applause.)

6              COMMISSIONER WELCH:    I don't know how

7    many of you are aware that one of the members of

8    this board who happened to serve as a teacher and

9    a principal is also an author.    And Mrs. Camay

10   Murphy has written a book.   And it is something

11   about the shoals and the coal.    What is it?

12             COMMISSIONER MURPHY:   "Can a Coal

13   Scuttle Fly?"

14             COMMISSIONER WELCH:    "Can a Coal Scuttle

15   Fly?"   Well, the creative juices have been

16   flowing in Camay, and she would also like to make

17   some presentations at this time.    Commissioner

18   Murphy.

19             COMMISSIONER MURPHY:   First, I could not

20   claim my total book because it was about Tom

21   Miller and he did the illustrations.    I certainly




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1    cannot claim these little facts, fully claim all

2    of these little facts that we have about some of

3    our departing board members, but I did contribute

4    to some of them.

5              The first ten top things we love about

6    Colene.   These were actually written by the

7    facilities committee.   And so when we talk about

8    bathrooms and that kind of thing, you will

9    understand where they came from.   Mark said, 1:

10   Her passion, dedication --

11             COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   We start with 10.

12             COMMISSIONER MURPHY:   Emerson said 10:

13   Never loses a bet on facilities issues.   I owe

14   her lunches for the next month.

15             Mark:   9, Keeps our department deep in

16   bottled waters.

17             Tom:    8, Always focused on process,

18   educational programs, driver ed. specs, which

19   drives architects plans.

20             Darryl:   7, Where are the science labs?

21   How many do we have in E?




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1            Emerson said:     6, Has not met an old

2    building that she doesn't want to demolish.

3            Mark:      5, Always has been checking

4    everyone's math since architects cannot add.

5                Tom:   4, Not afraid to mix it up with

6    the guys or the Board or anybody else.      Come on,

7    guys.

8            Darryl:     3, Where are the rest rooms?

9    How many do we have in E?

10           Emerson:     2, Keeps us busy on the

11   weekends.   Colene spends at least ten hours a

12   week above and beyond board meetings helping us.

13           Mark:      Number 1, Her passion,

14   dedication, and commitment to educating the

15   children of Baltimore.

16               (Applause.)

17           COMMISSIONER MURPHY:     The next is Bill

18   Struever, and this is the one that I wrote.

19           Bill Struever is:     A rumpled love fest

20   of Baltimore and the children of Baltimore.      A

21   guy who loves the arts but can't dance.     A person




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1    who always says, Well, okay, let's do it.    The

2    eternal optimist.   Generous, generous, generous.

3    The guy who often needs a haircut.    Bill Struever

4    is the person who has supported more kids going

5    to college than we know.   Bill Struever is the

6    tough businessman who can get weepy about a kid

7    who is cut down while trying to make it.

8                Bill Struever is a guy who keeps his

9    word, even when that means buying crab cakes for

10   a whole lot of people.    Made a bet with Dr. Jones

11   and he paid off.

12           Bill Struever:     A determined thinker who

13   has moved this system forward with all the

14   support he could muster.   Bill Struever.

15               (Applause.)

16               Tales about Tyson.   On his hospital

17   bracelet when he was born, the little beads read,

18   Leader, J. Tyson Tildon.   The facilities

19   department nicknamed Tyson, Mr. Clean.    Tyson

20   didn't turn any proposal into a mathematical

21   equation.   Tyson was born either too early or too




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1    late.   It was an adult's world when he was a

2    child, and now it is a child's world when he is

3    an adult, evidenced by the shopping with his

4    daughter at The Limited Two.

5               Tyson turned every presentation before

6    the General Assembly into a science project.       He

7    even made the appropriations committee rock and

8    roll.   Tyson deplores the toxicity of low

9    expectations.   He would vote to have every seven

10   year old take trigonometry.      When Tyson says

11   "raise the bar," he is not talking about high

12   jumping.   Tyson will be remembered for his vision

13   and his belief that all children can learn.

14              (Applause.)

15              COMMISSIONER WELCH:   I think we will

16   have comments from those persons later on.     While

17   they get themselves together, we are going to

18   move now into the public comment portion of this

19   meeting.   And we will call first Mr. Larry

20   Gaines, representing the parent and community

21   advisory board.




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1            MR. LARRY GAINES:    Good evening.   Good

2    evening, Dr. Welch, Ms. Russo, and Board of

3    School Commissioners.

4             The Parent and Community Advisory Board

5    would like to extend our best wishes to Ms. Russo

6    on her departure after three years of dedicated

7    service to the children of Baltimore, and our

8    sincere thanks and appreciation to Dr. Tildon,

9    Mr. Struever, and Ms. Daniel on their departure

10   after six years of true devotion and commitment

11   to the school system.   It is okay to be

12   sensitive, Bill.   Straight up.   I don't like to

13   say good-bye. And sometime I end up crying.   It

14   is all right.

15            So just congratulations and thank you

16   for your service that you have done.

17            We had some concerns, we met, and one

18   thing we have for, Ms. Russo, is the appointments

19   of (unintelligible.)    We were hoping that you

20   would do it.    We realize you have a lot of tasks.

21   In the military, they say you are getting short.




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1    I realize you are preoccupied with a lot of

2    things, a new life and new career.   We would hope

3    that before you believe, if you have a moment,

4    you could do it.

5             And personally, I would just like to say

6    thank you for all the support that you gave the

7    Parent Community Advisory Board.   There has been

8    many a time when we were in a jam, especially

9    when we getting the failures and we weren't sure

10   what way to go.    And I grab you in the hallway

11   and I would say, Ms. Russo, this is a problem.

12   And you would say, Don't worry about it.   It is

13   done.   It was done.   You always gave us your


14   word, and we appreciate it.   So I want to truly

15   say thank you.

16             Dr. Welch, we have something for you.

17   Board liaison, we have talked about it, and you

18   had spoke earlier about Senate Bill 795.   It has

19   been six years, and one of the tasks that we have

20   is this staff person.   Each one of you board

21   members know without the staff that you have in




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1    Judy Donaldson and the rest of the group, it

2    would be impossible to do some of the basic

3    communication and getting the work out.

4              We have been operating for six years.

5    We brought it up over and over and over, and it

6    really, six years, we really need to address

7    that.   We really need the help.   It really helps

8    us go to the next level.    We would really hope

9    that once you appoint a liaison that they would

10   sit down with us, talk about the budget, and a

11   staff person that we really needed to get moving.

12   You know we are volunteers.   We have a lot to do.

13   We need the person for the consistency.   Okay.

14             And next one is Dr. Jones.   You know

15   that we support her.    There has been a lot this

16   year that has brought people out, the lead water,

17   the budget.

18             (Applause.)

19             (Untelligible.)   One of the goals that

20   Baltimore City Public Schools is trying to reach

21   is this parent and community involvement.   This




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1    issues has brought about, we see ministers,

2    alliances here representing the ministers, see

3    Children's First, we see a lot of advocacy groups

4    out here.   But now, we hope that you will really

5    listen to us as a community.    We are

6    stakeholders, a lot of people coming on board, we

7    are grateful for that.   We really hope that you

8    would listen to us as a community.    We do support

9    her.   We mentioned it a few times, and I know you

10   have a lot of comments and other comments, but we

11   will keep it short and we are here to support

12   you, Dr. Jones.   We appreciate everything you

13   have done because there has been a lot of times

14   in the middle of the night where we was on the

15   tough issue.   We could grab you out of your

16   office.   That means so much to us.   So thank you

17   for --

18             (Applause.)

19             COMMISSIONER WELCH:   Thank you, Mr.

20   Gaines.   Mr. Michael Hamilton from the PTA.

21               Mr. Hamilton, again, we extend sympathy




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1    to you.   You were thought of in our previous

2    board meeting, and we will like to publicly

3    acknowledge our deepest sympathy to you and your

4    family.

5              MR. MICHAEL HAMILTON:   I really

6    appreciate it.   And several members approached me

7    individually and expressed their condolences, but

8    I thank you.

9              Before we begin -- well, first, I'm

10   sorry, good evening, Ms. Russo, Dr. Welch and

11   Board of School Commissioners.

12             Before I embark on my comments tonight,

13   I understand that the signing up to speak was

14   reordered tonight.   I understand the sheet was

15   put out at 4 o'clock to be signed instead of

16   4:30.   But that's neither here nor there.   I

17   didn't know why that change had taken place.     We

18   had my -- Ms. Edwina Green, as you may know, is

19   our VP for leadership, who wanted to bring some

20   comments, so I told her to come up to the table,

21   since you are representing PTA, to bring those




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1    comments.   And so Ms. Edwina Green.

2            MS. EDWINA GREEN:    I would like to say

3    good evening to Ms. Russo, Mr. Struever, and the

4    audience.   I'm very proud tonight to bring to you

5    those persons who have you seen me volunteering

6    for approximately 30 years, is my daughter Wanda,

7    grandson Christopher, and other grandson DaVon.

8                I wanted to speak to you tonight

9    because over the 30 years that I have been

10   volunteering, my first adventure was getting

11   Wanda through the process.   During that tenure, I

12   was learning.   I felt that when she graduated

13   from your public schools in the 12th grade that I

14   was geared up that when she became a mom, which

15   she did, she gave me two grandchildren, that I

16   would become a veteran.   One thing I said to

17   Wanda, that I will not supplant your

18   responsibility with your children.     I would

19   supplement everything that you would do; so,

20   therefore, you will have to volunteer.    So that

21   when Christopher began in school, very early




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1    Wanda has been there with him.

2               One -- two things that's very

3    significant to us.   Christopher has sickle cell.

4    He has been sick a lot.   And one of the things

5    that we had to learn was that there had to be a

6    relationship and a partnership between every

7    classroom teacher that we encounter and the CHIP

8    program.   And we are here tonight to let you know

9    that the Upton School has some of the best

10   teachers, and I want to commend the Upton School

11   principal and Ms. King from Fort Worthington

12   Elementary, who has given my grandson, Wanda's

13   son, the beginning experiences for him.

14              He took the CBT test this year.   He was

15   sick.   We asked permission just to bring him in,

16   which he did, and he passed your CBTs.     One of

17   the things I said, if children are taught, tests

18   are nothing to be afraid of.

19              A lot of boys and girls could not

20   understand how Chris can get perfect attendance.

21   With the CHIP program, all we have to do is make




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1    that phone call at I think it is 6:30 in the

2    morning, notify the CHIP teacher that the child

3    is ill, and either prepare the child for the

4    school or the classroom away from the school,

5    either in the hospital, the hospital works with

6    us, or our home.   We have done it.   Chris passed

7    with a 5.6 reading level and missed about 60 days

8    this year from school.   And the teacher said, Ms.

9    Green, every time he game back to both of us,

10   Chris adjusted.

11            I want to thank you that you have good

12   teachers in here in Baltimore City Public

13   Schools. I'm going to be out here there working

14   until both of these children graduate, and

15   anything I can do to say I thank you in any

16   manner, I will definitely do it again.

17           (Applause.)

18           MR. MICHAEL HAMILTON:   Thanks, Edwina.

19   Again, I would like to thank all of those that

20   came to me and offered their kind words during my

21   period of bereavement.   I can honestly say the




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1    last couple of weeks has been for me, once again,

2    a humbling experience.   I would really like to

3    thank everyone for their well wishes.

4                Also, I forgot this is the last board

5    meeting for a few of our board members, and I

6    know throughout the years, there has been

7    somewhat combative and there has been

8    collaborative and all the other adjectives that I

9    could think.   But I really would like to say to

10   you on behalf of the Council of PTA's that we

11   really do respect the work that anyone puts in on

12   a volunteer basis and the hours, and we

13   understand the hours, and the commitment and the

14   time, and while we sometimes agreed and sometimes

15   disagreed, we truly respect the work and the

16   commitment that you have put forth for our

17   children.

18               And, again, I would like to thank Bill

19   Struever, I'm sorry that Dr. Tildon is not here,

20   okay, and Ms. Colene Daniels for the work they

21   have done on behalf of my child and all the other




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1    children in the Baltimore City Public School

2    System.    I really would like to thank you and

3    applaud you for putting in that time over six

4    years.

5               (Applause.)

6               MR. MICHAEL HAMILTON:   On yesterday, I

7    had another humbling experience.    I had an

8    opportunity to attend the year end, end-of-year

9    celebration at the Eager Street Academy.     It was

10   difficult to see those young men and young ladies

11   in that setting.   But I think what I was

12   extremely proud of is those young people, I was

13   really glad to congratulate them for all they

14   have accomplished in overcoming the obstacles

15   that pretty much was of their own making, but

16   they saw fit that they still had to get their

17   education.   And the things that were done

18   yesterday were to congratulate them on their

19   efforts with Bea Gaddy writing and poster

20   contest.   If I'm not mistaken, the individual

21   that won first place in the writing and the




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1    poster contest are housed in the Eager Street

2    Academy.   My congratulations go out to them.

3               I'm especially proud of Mr. Randy

4    Allen.   Mr. Allen is the young man who received

5    his diploma despite all the adversities.     He

6    managed to complete his requirements for

7    graduation and he received his diploma yesterday.

8    It was conferred onto him and I think he

9    represents Patterson High School.      That's where

10   the diploma came from.   I really congratulated

11   that young man and his parents who were present,

12   that they stood behind him in his time of trials

13   and tribulations, but he still was able to

14   accomplish that.   He rededicated and committed

15   himself to excellence once he leaves the Eager

16   Street Academy.

17              Even though that's a trying situation

18   there, we do have our young peoples making every

19   effort to turn their lives around, even in that

20   setting.

21              COMMISSIONER STRINGFIELD:   Would you say




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1    his name again?

2             MR. MICHAEL HAMILTON:   Randy Allen.   I

3    would like to offer congratulations to Mr. Danny

4    McCoy.   He is the designated surrogate parent for

5    the Eager Street Academy.    He was recognized by

6    the Baltimore City Council of PTA's also as the

7    volunteer parent of the year.    And to show you

8    his level of commitment, this man returned from

9    his vacation to be with the young people at the

10   time that they were going to be identified and

11   recognized for their accomplishments.   I take my

12   hat off once again for Mr. Danny McCoy, who I

13   understand after the ceremony was over, he

14   returned to his vacation.

15             But again, we hope to offer and extend

16   our hope to those in Eager Street Academy.   We

17   told the principal that we are there to help them

18   whenever possible.   That was really a humbling

19   experience, but I was really proud that these

20   people were still rededicating and committing

21   their lives to excellence.




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1               I also would like to offer somewhat of

2    a year-end or school-end commentary to a certain

3    extent if I may.   Yesterday's Supreme Court

4    ruling and the issue of affirmative action should

5    serve as a reminder to all of us the need to

6    ensure that our children are prepared to meet the

7    challenges that will come before them, and that

8    preparation requires an adequate if not a

9    superior education.    I'm always reminded of a

10   quote that says, "Education is a social process.

11   Education is growth.   Education is not a

12   preparation for life, but education is life

13   itself."   And I don't think any of us will ever

14   argue that point, that the balance and the

15   foundation for a life of responsibility and

16   respectfulness and self-sufficiency starts with

17   education, whether it is the parent and then the

18   teacher.   We really need to be reminded that

19   that's why we are here.   We are here to ensure

20   that our children receive an adequate and

21   equitable education.




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1                And in this system, both internally and

2    externally, parent, powers, teachers,

3    administrators, politicians, all stakeholders, we

4    all have been charged one way or another, whether

5    it is because it is our livelihood, or because it

6    is our compassion, or because it is our

7    commitment, or our God-given responsibility, we

8    all have been charged with the caretaking and the

9    education of our children.   Politics,

10   selfishness, self-serving agendas, cronyism,

11   racism, sexism, patronism and any other -- ism,

12   while it does exist, has no place in this process

13   when it comes to the education of our children.

14   History has already shown us the devastating

15   effects of allowing such practices to be


16   embraced.

17               Consistency, excellence, commitment,

18   experience, positive skills and abilities should

19   be the order of the day, and what moves our

20   system forward.

21               Now, I represent over 90 PTA schools




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1    and their constituents, nothing other than the

2    positive attributes that I just described will be

3    tolerated or accepted when it comes to the

4    education and well-being of our children.    That

5    goes for all of us who have been charged with

6    responsibility of educating our children, as well

7    as those parents and guardians, and anyone else

8    who have not been involved.

9             Several board meetings ago, I talked

10   about the process involving the CEO selection and

11   the interim status.   Some individuals saw my

12   comments as an endorsement of Dr. Jones, which at

13   the time, if anyone was really listening, it

14   really was not.   It was talking about the process

15   and selecting the right individual to move our

16   system forward.   My point was about the process,

17   which I'm still not clear if there will be one

18   for picking a permanent, regardless of who it may

19   be.

20            But also, I emphasized the need for

21   consistency in order to keep us moving forward




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1    and not risking any interruption in the gains

2    that have been made thus far.   While the new CEO

3    puts their stamp on this process, we have had

4    approximately three CEO's and two chief academic

5    officers in the past six years.    Consistency and

6    stability is a crucial part of our success.

7             Now, I have heard over the past couple

8    weeks, even though I haven't been here, I have

9    been reading and listening and hearing things

10   regarding Dr. Jones, which have really been very

11   troubling to myself and a number of individuals,


12   and I know what I'm about to say probably will be

13   received with mixed opinions and mixes views and

14   what have you.   But unless we are talking about

15   total incompetence or nonperformance, then I

16   can't think of any reason why Dr. Jones should

17   not continue to be allowed to --

18   (unintelligible.)

19           (Applause.)

20           MR. MICHAEL HAMILTON:     I'm being very

21   honest with you.    I haven't always agreed with




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1    some of the decisions that I assume came from

2    Dr. Jones, but I haven't always agreed with some

3    of the decisions that this board has made.    But

4    I'm really concerned that if we talk about making

5    sure we have people who are the right people to

6    move this process forward, unless I hear that

7    this person cannot do the job, then I cannot see

8    why we should be talking about asking her to

9    leave.

10            I'm saying to you as the --

11   (unintelligible) Council of PTAs do support

12   Dr. Jones in her efforts, and we will continue to

13   have those arguments and those discussions, but

14   that's what it is all about; ensuring that we get

15   the right education for our children.

16            Thank you very much.

17            COMMISSIONER WELCH:   Before you leave, I

18   just like for you to indicate, would like to

19   remind the members in the audience when you talk

20   of the Eager Street Academy, the old name for

21   that academy was the Baltimore School, it was The




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1    Jail School.    Everybody called it that.   So I

2    think to hear you single out students for

3    graduating and receiving their diploma is quite

4    significant.    I think that change in the name did

5    bring some dignity to that institution, because

6    in spite of why they are there, that's not really

7    our charge, what we do need to know is they are

8    our children.

9            MR. MICHAEL HAMILTON:    They really are

10   seeking our support.   They understand that they

11   made some mistakes in their lives.   I usually

12   invoke the saying that Dr. Bundy always called

13   the order in the morning.   He says, Young people,

14   Young people.   And I said, This, too, shall pass.

15   And you will move right into life and become

16   productive citizens.   But we need to make sure

17   that we let them know that we are there to

18   support them in all their endeavors and make sure

19   that they will come from without those walls and

20   become productive citizens.

21           COMMISSIONER WELCH:    Thank you.




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1             Mr. James Carroll, representing CUB.

2             MR. JAMES CARROLL:   First of all, I

3    would like to thank Ms. Russo, Ms. Welch, and the

4    Board for having me here today, and all of the

5    other important people here today.   I want to

6    thank you.

7              I represent the City Union of

8    Baltimore, school police here, and school support

9    staff.   And I just want to say that we had some

10   issues, we had several issues to talk about here,

11   but I guess the first thing I want to talk about

12   is negotiations and how they went.

13             Just want to say that we had a tough

14   negotiations.   We hope that the board would look

15   at these agreements that we had put together, and

16   together, this is a very first time that CUB and

17   Local 44 worked together on negotiations.   And

18   this is a time in history, and a time that I'm

19   very proud of and I know Mr. Milton is also proud

20   of, and I just want to thank him, and this is,

21   like I said, something to go down in history.




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1    First time it ever happened.

2              This was not a contract, the best

3    contract that we could get for our members, but

4    we just hope that in the future that we can

5    negotiate even a better contract.

6              Some of the issues that we had with CUB

7    was Standing Operation Procedures, SOP.   This is

8    very important in our union, and this was a set

9    of, puts a set of regulations in place that these

10   things were something that we asked for in the

11   past, and we just had a hard time getting.

12   Matter of fact, we haven't received them yet.    We

13   know in the future or in the past, they used,

14   they, speaking of the school board, used the

15   administrative manual for most of their issues,

16   and we told them that the SOP was very important

17   to us.   So I hope in the future that we would

18   have an SOB -- SOP, excuse me.   Wouldn't want an

19   SOB -- an SOP to help us, to help us.

20            (Laughter.)

21            COMMISSIONER WELCH:   Despite that, Paul,




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1    can your erase that from the tape?

2            MR. JAMES CARROLL:     We also want to talk

3    about the Admiral Security that you have.     What

4    we were told first is that they were only

5    supposed to be here in the evenings.   We found

6    that that wasn't true.   They were here also in

7    the daytime.   And every time you walk into

8    headquarters, you know, you see more and more the

9    Admiral Security people present and, you know, we

10   are very concerned with that.

11            We also want to talk about Bill 529 and

12   Maxine Holmes is the person in our union that's

13   in charge with that unit.   And Maxine, would you

14   like to say a couple things?

15           MS. MAXINE HOLMES:     Just real quickly.

16   I'm the labor relations specialist for the City

17   Union of Baltimore, and we represent the school

18   police officers.   And we have concerns about Bill

19   529 and your response to Bill 529, the policies

20   and procedures.    We don't feel that that's a

21   sufficient response to that Bill, and it doesn't




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1    really answer the questions to that bill.    So we

2    are hoping that the board will look at this issue

3    and resolve some of the problems that we feel --

4    we would really like an opportunity to tell you

5    what our concerns are.   I think I have expressed

6    that already, but I really think that the policy

7    that was given to us really is not sufficient to,

8    is a sufficient response to the bill itself.    And

9    we would hope that you would look at that,

10   revisit that again, and come up with something

11   that's more -- that's not so broad, that's more

12   direct and answers that bill.

13           MR. GLEN MIDDLETON:     Good evening to you

14   the chairperson, Dr. Welch, to the CEO, Carmen

15   Russo, to also the Baltimore School

16   Commissioners.   I want to say good evening to you

17   on behalf of AFSCME, the American Federation of

18   State, County, and Municipal Employees.    I'm Glen

19   Middleton.   I serve as their president.   We

20   represent about 1,300 school board employees in

21   the school system. Yvonne Macon-Flynn (phonetic)




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1    to my far right, to your left, is one we

2    represent, of one of those employees.

3             Before I speak about those employees, I

4    want to take the time to thank all of you and

5    thank you, James, for our relationship.    And best

6    wishes to the school board members that are

7    leaving, and good wishes to the school board

8    members that are coming on board.

9             I just want to say two good really

10   positive things that we are doing in AFSCME,

11   Local 44, throughout the City of Baltimore, but

12   essentially in the school system, Dorothy Bryant,

13   I guess she'll stand, she is our chairperson of

14   our people committee, and Ms. Bryant, what we do

15   every year, we give out ten scholarships to

16   school board employees.   This year she will be

17   giving them out and she will be coming to your

18   school board.   Your human resources director

19   reminded me that we have been doing this for ten

20   years, and we have never, ever done this.   So

21   Sheila Dudley reminded me, and we are going to be




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1    doing it this year.    We have done it for ten

2    years.   We have never come before you to share it

3    with you.   We give out 500 dollar scholarships to

4    10 people in 10 schools in the City of Baltimore

5    every year. And we have done it because it is the

6    right thing to do, because it is our city.

7             (Applause.)

8             MR. GLEN MIDDLETON:   Also, when we talk

9    about relationships like the City Union of

10   Baltimore and the Baltimore Teachers Union,

11   Marietta and Loretta Johnson, but also the

12   Principals Union, we need to talk about the

13   Reggie Lewis Museum of African-American Culture.

14   We are going to be raising $500,000, half a

15   million dollars.   We are going to have 5,000

16   people to donate $100 a piece, and their names

17   will go on the red wall inside the museum.    So

18   all the other unions can go in this, we wanted to

19   let you know.

20               On a much more serious note, two years

21   ago, we were involved in an issue of contracting




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1    out.   I'm going to speak briefly to that.   I

2    think it is important and it is the right time.

3              Contracting out frequently costs much

4    more because of the contractors are there to make

5    profit.   Once the contractor has the school board

6    in its grips, the costs rise substantially.

7    Sometimes the contractor either lowballs his or

8    her bid to get into the door and then loses money

9    for the first year or two.   Contracting out

10   frequently costs much more than the RFP's,

11   meaning requests for proposal, shows, because the

12   real costs are not usually considered, or the

13   contract contains inadequate specifications or

14   excessive escalation of allowances.

15             And the school board's RFP,

16   specifications require that the contractor only

17   have 70 percent or 75 percent of all items free

18   or cleanliness in the school of defects.     That

19   means when they come in, these 41 schools they

20   are contracting out their custodial services,

21   they are saying you can only clean that school 70




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1    to 75 percent.   This means up to 30 percent of

2    that facility can be filthy, and the contractor

3    will still meet the performance standards.

4             School board employees provide not only

5    the essential duties but most times go well

6    beyond their job descriptions.   School board

7    employees are neighbors of the children, live in

8    the same community.   Many times they develop

9    special relationships with those children.    They

10   are the mentors, like the teachers and the

11   principals.   And also, they have special

12   relationships with their parents.   With

13   contracting out, this relationship is lost

14   completely.

15            A poorly drafted contract, like the one

16   that you might vote on soon, can also affect

17   responsiveness or delivery of service.     I will be

18   real brief.   When principals and teachers

19   complain about their contracted out services, the

20   school system becomes the middleman, who often

21   can do very little to resolve their complaint.




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1             This board should also consider the

2    significant conversion costs in order to contract

3    out services.    This can include a curification

4    (sic) of sick leave owed to displaced employees,

5    retirement, retraining costs, unemployment

6    compensation.    In addition, there are costs

7    related to the disposal of unused supplies or

8    equipment.   Typically, the contracts prefer to

9    using their own supplies and equipment.


10   Sometimes they buy new cars and vans like EAI and

11   Johnson Control did ten years ago and then they

12   left us with all that.   They also stole equipment

13   and supplies.

14            There is no proof that this will save

15   any money for this school board or the school

16   system in Baltimore.   We know you'll probably do

17   the right thing.   We hope you'll do the right

18   thing on this.   We know that we made an agreement

19   with this school board last year, even though we

20   thought there was a better way of improving

21   efficiency and effectiveness in quality of




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1    service and problems.

2              There was a pilot program.   This year,

3    AFSCME agreed, Local 44 and its members, agreed

4    to participate in a pilot program.    The

5    contractors had six to ten schools and we had six

6    to ten schools.    Our folks were retrained.   They

7    went out to Arizona.    They got all the right

8    things to do.   They learned how to wipe the wall

9    right, to wipe the floors right, to clean the

10   bathrooms and clean the classrooms.    They did all

11   that.   Today, we haven't received a report on

12   that finding.   I heard it is gone completely.    We

13   don't know what's happened.   That's a problem.

14             We talk about privatizing 41 schools

15   with poorly drafted RFP's that will lead to

16   substandard service if the contractors is only

17   responsible for 70 percent of the service.     Then

18   our children are going to be left out.      We ought

19   to hold profit-hungry corporations to a higher,

20   higher standard.

21             The Baltimore City School Board does




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1    not have in place an effective margin system,

2    which is important for contracts of this type.

3    This cost could be included in the cost of

4    contracting out those services.   The staff has

5    not indicated how they will monitor contractors'

6    performance, nor have they disclosed what

7    contract margin activities will cost.   This, like

8    a margin, is an invitation to rip off the school

9    board, the city, and the future of our children.

10              Under this RFP, contracting personnel

11   will not be required to undergo criminal

12   background checks, which is a violation, and that

13   exposes our children to unacceptable risks and

14   us, too.

15              You must consider the impact on the

16   children and the communities and the workers that

17   live in the communities before deciding to

18   privatize.

19              And last but not least, they are proven

20   cost savings in this -- in other actions that we

21   have talked to you about.   We asked you to not




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1    expose these children to unacceptable risks from

2    the contractors.   Let the employees resolve

3    inefficiencies and quality services and make sure

4    we resolve the problems.

5             For these reasons, I urge you not to

6    vote for contracting out, privatization.    It is

7    the right thing to do.    We have been working that

8    way, CUB and AFSCME, but also the other units in

9    the school copy.   We have copies of this

10   information for you.   We have ten locations where

11   we have actually worked on labor management

12   cooperative effort.    We hope you would do the

13   right thing, and I thank you again.

14           (Applause.)

15           COMMISSIONER WELCH:    Thank all members

16   of CUB for coming up with Mr. Carroll.     Just

17   thought I would mention it.   Thank you.

18            Dr. Jones, I'm going to ask if you

19   would come up now and present the Executive Board

20   of the Student Council.

21           MS. C. JONES:     It is with great pleasure




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1    that I'm going to introduce Morris Wyatt, who is

2    one of our very fine lead coaches in the senior

3    high school area, and he is also the advisor for

4    the Regional Associated Student Congress of

5    Baltimore City, and he will introduce our

6    students who will be serving in the next year.

7            MR. MORRIS WYATT:    Good evening,

8    Commissioner Welch, Ms. Russo, and the Board.      It

9    is my pleasure to introduce to you the executive

10   board for the 2003 -- two members of the

11   executive board for the 2003-2004 school year of

12   the Associated Congress of Students of Baltimore

13   City.

14               And I'm going to turn it over to our

15   president, who is Chantell Bradley.

16           MISS CHANTELL BRADLEY:    Good evening,

17   everyone.   I'm Chantell Bradley, and I'm

18   currently serving as ACSBC president.   The is my

19   first vice-president, Eric Mintz.   Our other

20   officers as student commissioner, Courtney Davis,

21   as second vice-president, which is our middle




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1    school, Brittney Davis, and also serving as our

2    treasurer is Derrick Cooley.    Derrick, Brittney

3    and Eric, they all attend Edmondson Westside.

4    Myself, I attend Western.    And Brittney, she

5    attends Roland Park.     Unfortunately, they weren't

6    able to join us this evening, but they do send

7    their regards and wish the best of luck.

8               We would like to take this time

9    to thank Dr. Jones because she embraced us a lot

10   in our organization.

11              (Applause.)

12              MISS CHANTELL BRADLEY:   And hopefully,

13   she will be able to continue to work with us hand

14   in hand.   And also, we would like to ask

15   Councilman Stokes if he would also help assist us

16   with our organization.

17              Basically, our overall view for this

18   year is to enhance more student government

19   associations in our middle and high schools,

20   because as we talked throughout the community,

21   they really don't know about it.    Hopefully, this




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1    is their push, too, that gives everybody a chance

2    to understand what we want to do.

3             And also, this weekend, Eric has the

4    privilege to attend the state-wide student

5    Government, which is MASC, and he will be

6    attending the NASC, which is the national

7    conference, and it gets our name out there, too.

8            (Applause.)

9            COUNCILMAN STOKES:    The answer to your

10   question is yes, yes, and some more yesses.

11           COMMISSIONER WELCH:   We will now hear

12   from the general public.   The first person to

13   speak this evening, Mr. Bill Gooden.

14           MR. BILL GOODEN:   First of all, I would

15   just like to thank all the people that came here,

16   not just to hear the issues, but to come here to

17   show solidarity and I believe that Dr. Jones

18   certainly would be left alone.

19            (Applause.)

20            In second, I want to say Mr. Struever,

21   I heard your pain, but it just unfortunate, I




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1    never heard it when we talked about the lead

2    issues in the water and some of the other things.

3    But I guess leaving the board was really would be

4    choking you up.

5             (Applause.)

6             But I just want to say, again, I wanted

7    to write my comments down and said tell the

8    truth, board members.

9             Dear Board Members, I'm writing to you

10   as well as expressing my concerns to the public

11   concerning this travesty of injustice as an

12   attempt to fire Dr. Cassandra Jones for reasons

13   of personal substance and clearly not

14   performance.

15            As most of you know, I have been

16   attending these open board meetings for many

17   years, and I could reflect on some of the issues

18   that have brought us to this point of where we

19   are today.

20            I would like to start with maybe

21   October of last year when issues started to




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1    become public as to the budget deficit, as well

2    as the lead in the water, and other issues that

3    started to surface, even the fact that Ms. Russo

4    had a secretary without higher education making

5    almost $90,000 a year, while some principals

6    don't make that much.

7             The first action that the board took as

8    to make radical adjustments were to terminate a

9    lot of low-level jobs right before Christmas as

10   to justify actions that you all was trying to

11   balance the budget on the backs of the poor and

12   committed.

13            Afterwards, it was to find the peak

14   distance as blame would have to lay on the less

15   guilty about the lead problems within the water.

16   Yes, I even remember the attempt of attempting to

17   make Dr. Jones partially to blame for the budget

18   downfall of the academic coaches, but because she

19   had all the documents in place as to give credit

20   to what she was not guilty of, other things start

21   to develop.




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1             I remember three months back when

2    Ms. Russo was looking for another job and the

3    Board seemed as if it was in total shock that she

4    was in search of another job in another city, and

5    for whatever reason, it didn't happen.    And then

6    she made this public statement as to how it was

7    important for her to remain here and finish out

8    the job that she started, and a month after that

9    statement, she resigns.

10            I remember a few weeks after Ms. Russo

11   made the announcement she would be leaving, the

12   Board quickly declared the interim to replace her

13   without considering the process of inclusion for

14   other people who are already part of this system.

15            I remember when some of us started to

16   advocate that Dr. Jones should have been

17   considered for the interim position, since that

18   she is the CEO in absence of Ms. Russo.    I mean,

19   it seemed as when the Board determined that there

20   was many of us who was upset with this unfair

21   process of a no process, and that some of us were




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1    suggesting that Dr. Jones should have allowed --

2    should have been allowed this opportunity, a rush

3    seemed to take place to rid Dr. Jones.

4              I remember a year ago when Ms. Russo as

5    well as Dr. Jones was being praised, and now all

6    of a sudden, Dr. Jones seems to be the worst

7    thing to come to North Avenue.   And the

8    leadership of the chair has went along, despite

9    her disagreements.   And I'm mentioning only what

10   I know to be the truth.

11             If Dr. Jones' performance is poor, I

12   ask that the board make that public.   If it is

13   not, and there is personal dislikes with board

14   members and Dr. Jones, I ask to have that made

15   public.   The public have the right to know.

16             As I bring some of these facts to

17   conclusion, I have to make mention that even in

18   the court of law, even in murder cases and other

19   serious cases, one is supposed to have an

20   opportunity to defend themselves.   Have Dr. Jones

21   had this opportunity?




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1             Dr. Welch, I'm asking you that you will

2    use your power as the chairperson to do the right

3    thing and not be forced to do the wrong thing

4    which will bring further damage and trouble to

5    the Board of Education.

6              I will conclude and promise you this,

7    if Dr. Jones is fired, there will be many of us

8    to stand in court with her, which will result in

9    another loss and add to budget problems.

10             (Applause.)

11             I ask you, Dr. Welch, has Dr. Jones'

12   performance been superior?   I ask you, Dr. Welch,

13   why has the board not made (unintelligible) with

14   Mark Smolarz, who has responsibility with the

15   money?   I ask you, Dr. Welch, is Ms. Russo's

16   secretary been fired?   Or is it true to some

17   other rumors that she may stay?   Yes.

18             And to those of you who are guilty at

19   leading this charge, isn't it ironic that your

20   terms are up and your last satisfaction is the

21   pleasure of having Dr. Jones fired because she




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1    did not buckle down and cow down to you when

2    the --

3             (Applause.)

4             MR. BILL GOODEN:   And her standing up

5    and challenging you did not sit well.     And if

6    not, tell the public the truth as to why you are

7    leading the charge for Dr. Jones' dismissal.

8             And I would like a response.

9             COMMISSIONER WELCH:   Dr. Gooden?

10            MR. BIO:   Yes, ma'am.

11            COMMISSIONER WELCH:   I have been very

12   nice, because the three minutes that you know we

13   allow to all of the members of the public have --

14   you have exceeded those minutes tonight.

15            MR. BILL GOODEN:   Yes, ma'am.   Can I say

16   one other thing?    I watch everybody else's time.

17   They don't treat everybody the same way.     I know

18   I try to abide by the time rule.   But I have been

19   here since 2 o'clock.   In y'all's agenda, you all

20   skipped one portion to do another one.    When you

21   all was on the public comments, I mean, I know




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1    about the union representatives and stuff.   But

2    even though I signed up, then you go going to

3    take them first, I don't say anything about that

4    because I understand that.

5             But I have been here since 2 o'clock,

6    and nobody said nothing about other people time.

7    But every time I get here, I go one second over

8    and they let me know that I went over.

9             (Applause.)

10            COMMISSIONER WELCH:   Members of the

11   public, we are going to ask if we could maintain

12   order and that we could complete the business of

13   this meeting.

14            MEMBER OF PUBLIC:   The Board is out of

15   order.

16            COMMISSIONER WELCH:   We are going to ask

17   Mr. Cory Jones.

18            MR. CORY JONES:   Greetings distinguished

19   board members, Ms. Russo, Dr. Jones.   My name is

20   Cory Jones, building representative for school

21   number 40.   I wanted to speak for a moment about




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1    the fruitful and productive and pragmatic meeting

2    held this morning among Dr. Bonnie Copeland,

3    Dr. Cassandra Jones, Ms. Ann Carusi, Ms. Marietta

4    English, and Jennifer Economos-Green, with the

5    staff of the magnificent, joy-filled and high

6    steppers in the delivery of a quality education

7    for our most cherished jewels at Lake Clifton

8    Eastern Senior High School.

9                I wish to make public record of our

10   understandings relative to the changes forecast

11   for our school opening this fall.   It is our

12   clear understanding from this meeting that, one,

13   LCE, Lake Clifton Eastern, will have

14   approximately 200 new or incoming freshman as

15   part of its population for school year 2003-4.

16           Number 2, it is our clear understanding

17   that there should be a total student population

18   at Lake Clifton Eastern of approximately 1400

19   students.


20           Number 3, it is our understanding that

21   teachers will not have to reapply for their




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1    positions, as our great school is not closing,

2    but we will witness a reduction in student

3    enrollment.   In addition, students will

4    not -- or rather, in addition, teachers will not

5    have the apply for -- reapply for their positions

6    at 40.

7             Number 4, students who are currently

8    enrolled and complete a program shall be allowed

9    to finish their studies at Lake Clifton until

10   they are graduated from Lake Clifton Eastern.

11            Fifthly, our understanding is that

12   programs offered at Lake Clifton Eastern come the

13   fall of this year include child care, JROTC,

14   printing, law related education, and a few

15   building trades programs.

16            Number 6, it is our understanding that

17   perhaps the C unit of the building will be

18   utilized to accommodate the needs of the massive

19   student population that we will receive come the

20   fall.

21            Number 7, it is our understanding that




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1    school executive committee will be borne with a

2    great majority of the persons, I should say, who

3    represent the immediate concerns of the faculty

4    and staff.

5             Number 8, it is our understanding that

6    all teachers and paraprofessionals at LCE will be

7    made aware of their positions or their

8    assignments on or before August 8, 2003.

9             Finally, number 9, the facilities

10   position for Lake Clifton Eastern will be -- the

11   person who will serve in that capacity will be an

12   individual who has a deep and vested interest in

13   our students, and one who garners the respect and

14   support of the faculty and stuff.

15            In summation, Dr. Jones' closing

16   remarks this morning supported by Dr. Copeland,

17   and counselled the goal of this process, that

18   being, if we were not a team, nothing we do will

19   be accomplished.   If there is an error in our

20   understandings, I respectfully and humbly ask

21   that we be notified immediately and with all due




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1    deliberate speed, such that we will rectify the

2    matters in an efficient and timely manner.

3            Thank you.

4            MS. C. JONES:   Madam Chair?

5            COMMISSIONER WELCH:     Yes.

6            MS. C. JONES:   One correction.   As a

7    result of the meeting this morning, Marietta

8    English brought up one point about the teachers

9    at the school having to apply.   I said, I

10   probably -- she is probably correct, but that is

11   something I have to take back to the board.    So

12   in terms of the teachers that will remain in Lake

13   Clifton, whether or not they have to reapply,

14   that is something that I said this morning I will

15   have to take back to the board, but Ms. English

16   did raise that point.   I have to raise that

17   clarification.

18           MR. CORY JONES:   Dr. Jones, are you able

19   to give a time frame on that?

20           MS. C. JONES:   I will call you tomorrow.

21           COMMISSIONER WELCH:     I would like to




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1    know what do you teach?

2              MR. CORY JONES:   I teach civil and

3    criminal law.

4              COMMISSIONER WELCH:     You represent

5    yourself well.

6              COMMISSIONER STRINGFIELD:    And your

7    school.

8              COMMISSIONER WELCH:     Ms. Jacqueline

9    Johnson from Radiant Rognel Heights.

10             MS. JACQUELINE JOHNSON:    Radiant, that's

11   right.    It's a brand new day.

12              I'm here today speaking on behalf of

13   the Rognel Heights Thomas Jefferson coalition.

14   That's right.    We going to rock and roll this

15   year.

16              Let the word go out to Ten Hills,

17   Hunting Ridge, Westgate, West Hills and Edmondson

18   Village, we are one.   We can do this.    I'm going

19   to get science labs at Rognel Heights; Thomas

20   Jefferson, the ceiling will not leak, and we are

21   going to make sure that children in the southwest




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1    corner of Baltimore City get a quality education.

2              Another point:   I'm confused if state

3    officials have indicated their pleasure and their

4    approval of the job that is being performed by

5    the chief academic officer, if those state

6    officials just happen to be the chair of the

7    house appropriations committee where we beg and

8    we grovel for money every year, why are we going

9    to throw the baby out with the bath water?    Let's

10   not undo something that the state believes we are

11   doing right and make it wrong, because it will

12   hurt the children.

13              Lastly, I am, I implore all of us in

14   this coming school year not to forget why we are

15   here.    I know you are here as volunteers, I know

16   you love our children.     We love our children.

17   And may we all remember to keep the children

18   first.

19             (Applause.)

20             COMMISSIONER WELCH:   We will,

21   Ms. Johnson.   Or Shabazz?




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1             MR. OR SHABAZZ:   Good evening everyone.

2    My name is Or Shabazz.   I'm representing

3    Children's First, and what I have is a couple of

4    letters that I will read on behalf of the

5    coalition.

6              The community this school board serves

7    is a majority African-American.   The majority of

8    the school board is not.   Why doesn't this school

9    board reflect the community this school board is

10   supposed to serve?   Why has this school board

11   moved to force out an African-American woman in a

12   position of leadership who has proven to be

13   receptive to our African-American community?     How

14   we most effectively educate our children is a

15   community right and responsibility.   Therefore,

16   Baltimore City Public School System should be

17   accountable to a board consisting of members

18   reflective of the community they are charged to

19   serve.   Dr. Cassandra Jones, as an

20   African-American woman, represents the

21   predominantly African-American student population




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1    of the Baltimore City public school system, as

2    well as the predominantly African-American

3    community of Baltimore.   Her removal would be a

4    blow to all who are truly interested and

5    committed to putting children first.


6              It is my firm belief that this school

7    board is very much aware of all the negative

8    aspects of the Baltimore City public school

9    system.   I also understand that such a failing

10   system is not absolute.   There are cases of

11   success peppered throughout the system's

12   operation.   However, the day-to-day function in

13   our schools are a continuation of miseducation as

14   articulated by Dr. Carter G. Woodson.   It seems

15   as long as the students in Baltimore City can

16   only compete with predominantly white schools in

17   athletics, then all is well.   Resegregation has

18   taken over, which makes the Board's job much

19   easier, for it is a little more difficult to

20   disenfranchise African students when they share

21   the classroom with whites.




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1             The situation surrounding Dr. Jones.

2    After praising her for a work a couple months ago

3    is only a defining moment.   Consequently, the way

4    boards are composed in Baltimore will be

5    redesigned.

6             Perhaps you're caught up in a maze of

7    state and federal guidelines and restrictions

8    that prohibit you from doing your best work, but

9    you have a history of unacceptable practices,

10   which are independent of state and federal

11   guidelines.   For instance, you have chosen to

12   negate the dedication of Dr. Jones as a

13   substitute CEO, you try to force her out as

14   community groups view and praise her as a

15   possible permanent CEO, while all the time

16   fighting desperately to keep Mary Yakamouski

17   (phonetic) on staff.

18            I am arguing every week with Dr. Powell

19   and other Children's First members not to let the

20   Board set the topic for discussion.   My position

21   is that we should remain vigilant in creating a




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1    process that will forever eliminate the


2    possibility of such a hostile and repressive

3    board, and replace the members and the board

4    selection process with one that is community

5    friendly, ready to oppose federal and state

6    departments, and last, but not least, a board and

7    process which puts children first.

8            (Applause.)

9            MR. OR SHABAZZ:    And lastly, Children

10   First would like to offer that we prefer Dr.

11   Jones to be the new and incoming CEO.

12           COMMISSIONER WELCH:    Thank you,

13   Mr. Shabazz.   Sharone Henderson?   I'm sorry, that

14   might not be Sharone.

15           MS. SHARONE HENDERSON:      Good afternoon.

16   I represent the sensational City Springs

17   Elementary.    As you know, City Springs is from

18   pre-K to fifth grade.   I'm going to give you a

19   little bit of history on City Springs.

20           At one time there was no hope at City

21   Springs Elementary. Our test scores was 0.1.




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1    City Springs was surrounding about by public

2    housing.   It was Flag House, Perkins.   Now there

3    is Pleasant View and Somerset and Douglass Homes.

4    Our test scores was really, really bad, and

5    people was saying that our kids could not learn.

6               Well, we had a new principal come in

7    and she stated that our kids can and will learn,

8    and they did.   We went from the lowest to one of

9    the highest in Baltimore City.

10              (Applause.)

11              MS. SHARONE HENDERSON:   We are here now,

12   she have -- Ms. Welchell (phonetic) is for the

13   kids, and she included the parents, the teachers,

14   and the staff and we worked together as a team --

15   no, not a team, a family.    Everyone had to learn

16   direct instructions.     We are here today because

17   we would like to have from pre-K to sixth grade.

18              We have students in our building, first

19   graders -- no, kindergartners that's reading on a

20   first-grade level.   We also have second graders

21   that's reading on a fifth-grade level.    We have a




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1    third grader that's in history and it is a

2    seventh-grade level.

3              They said that our kids couldn't learn,

4    we fooled them.    The object is to pull it out of

5    them.    They can learn.   It doesn't matter where

6    they live.   Long as you get someone in there that

7    cares and will bring it out of them.

8               We are not asking for much.   We want

9    one sixth-grade teacher.    We don't want any

10   money -- it would be nice -- but we want a

11   sixth-grade teacher that is committed and have

12   the same goals as we do.

13              I am a parent.   I have two girls there,

14   and I have many family members -- well, two girls

15   that were there.   I have family members that are

16   there that are doing, that are really doing

17   great.

18              I'm getting carried away here.   I'm

19   going to let Teresa Fowlkes speak.    She would

20   like to go over test scores.

21             MS. TERESA FOWLKES:   My name is Teresa




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1    Fowlkes.   I'm one of the parents of City Spring

2    Elementary School.   My daughter is a first grader

3    also there.   She has been a repeater of the first

4    grade and she has really camed up from being a

5    repeater this year, and she went to the second

6    grade this year and I'm really proud of her.

7               And in fact, this scores that we have

8    at City Spring is the median percentile scores in

9    the first grade in both reading and mathematics,

10   99 percent high in Baltimore City.     The median

11   percentile score in the fifth grade reading, 87

12   highest in Baltimore City.    The median percentile

13   score in the fifth grade mathematics, 79 percent.

14   Fifth graders using a seventh grade United

15   History textbook.    All kindergartners learning to

16   read.

17              COMMISSIONER WELCH:    Hi, Ms. Polk.

18              MS. MONA POLK:   Hi.   My name is Mona

19   Polk, and I'm the parent liaison worker.     As

20   Ms. Henderson say, we are family.     Everybody has

21   a role.    My role is the work directly with the




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1    parents, get them to understand direct

2    instruction.   We have workshop just for the

3    parents, make sure they understand, so that when

4    children come home they can help them.   The

5    parents feel better because they child can read.

6    The drug dealers on the corner, when they pass a

7    note, they can't pass a note to our children

8    because they will stop and they look at it and it

9    throw it down, keep moving on.

10            We are around East Baltimore with the

11   most prisons, and right there on Falls and Gay

12   Street, you know we got a new one, open up in

13   September.   So direct instruction has shown us,

14   our children, our parents, everybody in that

15   community that they can learn and that's proven.

16   We done prove it that they can read.   The test

17   scores came up.

18           Why so hard to get one teacher to keep

19   our children one more year and the final

20   year, do a seventh grade?   Then do it, because

21   most of the schools now are pre-K to eighth




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1    grade. All we asking is step by step, we are

2    proving our point.

3             So therefore, we are leave some

4    direction to y'all.    As board members, if you

5    care about our children, as you say, do you do

6    the right thing and we get our teacher and have

7    our sixth grade teacher?   I thank you.

8            (Applause.)

9            COMMISSIONER WELCH:    Let me just remind

10   you, Ms. Polk, I think you were there some six

11   years ago when the former secretary of education

12   for this country, Secretary Reilly, came to City

13   Springs Elementary School, and we had a program

14   and we went to classrooms to see those little

15   children reading.    So we do extend our real

16   heartfelt appreciation to you and all the members

17   of the staff and the leadership of Ernest

18   Welchell for the progress you made.   And we know

19   that your principal went to the White House, you

20   didn't mention that.   The second time, excuse me.

21           COMMISSIONER STRUEVER:    I know this is




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1    out of order.

2            COMMISSIONER WELCH:   It is out of order.

3            COMMISSIONER STRUEVER:   This is the last

4    time you will have to put up with me.

5            COMMISSIONER WELCH:   I have this gavel

6    in my hand, Bill.

7            COMMISSIONER STRUEVER:   It is my

8    understanding that this has been discussed

9    amongst the board, and that the board is fully in

10   support of going forward with the pre-K to 6,

11   understanding that there is not room in the City

12   Springs building for seven and eight, and that

13   there will be, over the next year, a planning

14   process to follow up on Senator Mikulski's

15   Centennial School concept, and to look at the

16   possibility of a pre-K to 12 combined campus with

17   City Springs and Lombard, but the Board was fine

18   with the adding of 6 as long as there was an

19   understanding that there was going to be a

20   planning process, and how seventh and eighth was

21   going to be dealt with would have to be




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1    determined over the next year.

2                My company had another one of our

3    community service projects was putting air

4    conditioning in the school about three years ago,

5    it was right before the MSPAP tests that were at

6    97 degrees or whatever.   And it is just amazing

7    what the school is doing under the leadership of

8    the curriculum project and Bernice Welchell.

9    Anybody who thinks that Baltimore City schools

10   aren't knocking the cover off the ball when it

11   comes to student achievement has to see these

12   children.   It is just -- it definitely, every

13   time you go to the school and see those children,

14   you got to cry, because it is just to wonderful.

15   And it makes you so angry that they don't have

16   air conditioning and don't have a lot of things

17   they absolutely should.   But certainly, that's my

18   sense and our facilities chair --

19            COMMISSIONER DANIEL:    I just want you to

20   know because I want you to be real clear where we

21   are.   We walked the facilities, we looked at it,




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1    there is no problem with sixth grade.   We truly

2    think that that can work.   We do, however, have a

3    huge problem with seventh and eighth because you

4    don't have any space at that site.   And it will

5    mean going across the street.   As you know there,

6    as high school across the street.    There is an

7    alternative school program across the street.

8    And all those pieces would have to be worked out.

9              What we foresee is that there will be

10   about a year's worth of planning to figure out

11   what we are going to move, what has to happen,

12   et cetera, but even at that, we would have to

13   submit those dollars to the state for renovation,

14   so -- and that is a two-year period.    I mean,

15   that's a two-year period.   So what you will

16   probably have is a pre-K to six for a period of

17   time, for a period of time.   I don't want to you

18   say after sixth grade, now you are supposed to

19   get a seventh and eighth.   I want it on the

20   record.

21             It will be for a period of time.     Then




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1    we will have to work out and apply for state

2    funds to see what we can do across the street.       I

3    wanted you to know what we were thinking.

4               COMMISSIONER STRUEVER:    Just to be

5    clear, can I move that City Springs Elementary

6    have pre-K to sixth effective September '04, with

7    the understanding there is no commitment at this

8    point pending the planning process at seventh and

9    eighth?    That's a motion.

10              COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   You said '04.

11              COMMISSIONER STRUEVER:    '03, excuse me.

12   This September, '03.   That's my motion.

13              COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   Second.

14              COMMISSIONER MURPHY:   Motion moved and

15   seconded.    All in favor say aye.   Motion is

16   carried.

17              COMMISSIONER WELCH:    I do not expect to


18   see you sitting up here next year telling us that

19   we want a seventh grade, because we want to keep

20   our students, right, Ms. Polk, Ms. Henderson?

21   All right.   Rodney Brown?    Mr. Rodney Brown.




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1             MR. RODNEY BROWN:   Good evening.   First

2    of all, I just want to thank you for allowing me

3    to opportunity to speak.   I am a member of the

4    Children First movement, and we going to be here

5    as long as our children are here.    You have some

6    members in the Children First movement said we

7    will fight for our children's total freedom even

8    if that means the last breath in our body.   And I

9    am one of those members.   And our children are

10   not being treated fairly, and we are going to see

11   to it that Baltimore is revolutionized in terms

12   of our children being free from lead poison, the

13   poisoning of having books that are 20 years old.

14   We want our children totally free.   We want them

15   to learn and we want help them to be able to be

16   productive members in our society.

17             Under the present rule, that is not

18   happening.   So we will assure, again, with the

19   last breath in our body, that our children are

20   first.   Thank you.

21            (Applause.)




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1               COMMISSIONER WELCH:   Ms. Martin from

2    Thomas Jefferson Elementary School.

3               MS. MARTIN:   Good evening, ladies and

4    gentlemen of the board.    If I'm not talking that

5    well, it is because I have a stopped up ear

6    allergy.   If I'm not clear, stop me at any point.

7               I represent the Rognel Heights-Thomas

8    Jefferson New Coalition for Better Education.       In

9    the evening of June the 12th, there was a

10   planning meeting.    It was a facility planning

11   meeting, in which certain representatives of our

12   area were present.   Ladies and gentlemen, at that

13   evening, we took a stand, because it was a plan

14   to destroy our school and our neighborhood.

15              Let me talk briefly about it.   It was

16   to merge Rognel Heights and Thomas Jefferson

17   under a circumstances that was not workable for

18   the members of the community, the parent body, or

19   even our children, who are our valuable assets.

20              We, the body that represents these two

21   schools, say flatly, to that plan, no.     Where is




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1    the compliance with the educational acts that

2    command parents and communities and the one voice

3    of our children to say what we need and want in

4    our community?   What makes the principals, as we

5    told, were brainstorming and the AEO to find out

6    what is best for us, but yet, the most valuable

7    components of this were not informed of their

8    findings or the outcome of their findings?

9    Contradictory information in your own facility

10   book shows that this was a study not maybe

11   thought of carefully, but not carefully thought

12   of.

13             We want you to know in a pleasant way,

14   don't you dare dream of developing a plan without

15   us.   We desire a community-based school.   Why was

16   not that important to you?   Was safety and travel

17   not an issue concerning our children?   What

18   effort did you make to inform the parties that

19   are affected in your own book?   You have pre

20   through K a study that it was feasible and then,

21   again, you say it is not feasible.   Why not if




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1    you feeling a quota system of we are

2    underutilized at Thomas Jefferson, why not extend

3    our school to pre-K through 6?     Okay?   We can

4    live with that.

5               I'm asking you, the Board, to send your

6    representatives.    We have a new complex in that

7    area.   You based a lot of your findings on the

8    Uplands.   We have a new complex off of Cooks Lane

9    that will be a residence for families.     And it is

10   almost completed.   I assure you that it won't go

11   until you respect us as we respect you.     The

12   issues are the concerns of our children.     What

13   happened to the village?

14              COMMISSIONER WELCH:   Finally, Mr. Lamont

15   Thomas.

16              MR. LAMONT THOMAS:    Good evening.   We

17   are here in representation of Forest Park High

18   School.    I'm an official alumni, and this is

19   Dominique Taylor, he is senior class president.

20              I wanted to read you my thoughts that I

21   wrote on the situation that's currently at Forest




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1    Park, if you know -- if you don't already know.

2              My first year at Forest Park has been a

3    wonderful experience.   I was introduced to a lot

4    of new students there and teachers, all who have

5    been with me ever since.   To me it seemed like a

6    place where no problems will occur, even after

7    the stories I have heard about our administrative

8    leader.   Of course, I didn't believe everything I

9    have heard.   I'm one who has to see for himself.

10   I didn't run into her much, but as the years

11   passed, I ran into her more and more.

12             Also as I matured, I began to see things

13   that I never noticed before as an adolescent.    I

14   began to see a lot of unnecessary actions taken

15   by some of our staff leaders at Forest Park.

16             One, is how our administrative leader

17   talks to people.   I never really understood why

18   she talked to people in the manner that she did,

19   and I still don't.   I always used to hear people

20   talk about how she talks to them, and they always

21   say, "I'm not a child."    But as I, but, I think




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1    that our administrative leader sees them as

2    inferior because she is the principal, and she

3    never fails to emphasize that.

4              I honestly think that our

5    administrative leader does not really know what

6    it means to be a principal.   She is one who very

7    uses the spotlight in full control of everyone

8    ranked under her.   She sees a principal's

9    position as a position of power.

10             Principal is not a position of power.

11   It is a position of leadership.    A leader leads

12   by doing and not telling people to do.    A leader

13   is one who is always open for ideas.    One is

14   creates a democratic setting.     I have noticed

15   that at Forest Park, if it is not about her, it

16   is not about anyone.   It is almost as if she

17   craves approval and will always make you give it

18   to her.

19             Now, don't get me wrong, our

20   administrative leader is a wonderful person, but

21   she really doesn't understand a principal's




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1    position in the school.    In the past, people have

2    tried to correct her and have failed.   Anyone who

3    thinks she is wrong isn't welcome in her

4    building. And often times, she manipulates people

5    into doing her dirty work, making them out to be

6    viewed as she is viewed.   If I can help it, I

7    don't view them like I view our administrative

8    leader, because they only doing what they are


9    told to do in fear of losing their jobs if they

10   don't.

11            During my senior year, Mr. Scott, our

12   PTA property and Brothers on the Men coordinator,

13   joined our excellent staff.   Many people in the

14   building grew fond of him because of the

15   personality and positive vibe he brought

16   throughout the building.   In his time there, he

17   did a lot for the school and brought a lot of

18   activities and opportunities to the school for

19   students, all of the which I -- our

20   administrative leader failed to do.   After a

21   while, I started to notice a bad vibe between Mr.




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1    Scott and our administrative leader.    She

2    continued to nitpick with him, and it didn't stop

3    there.    Her ill-mannered behavior led to others

4    getting involved, and it produced walk-outs,

5    protests and other systematic methods of

6    refinement.   This year people stood up to her

7    reign of negativity and that has led to this very

8    moment.   And my question is, what is going to be

9    done?    Thank you.

10             MR. DOMINIQUE TAYLOR:   As the class

11   president of the class of 2004, I finally came

12   out against Ms. Barise (phonetic).    I was sick

13   both times they protested and I wasn't able to

14   voice my opinion.     I was threatened by Ms. Barise

15   that if I joined the protest, she would have

16   something in store for the class of 2004.     She

17   said that if you thought that the class of 2003

18   had horrible memories of high school, you had

19   something to look for come fall.

20              I am here because she is, Miss Loretta

21   Barise is a horrible principal.    I am tired of




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1    holding it back.    I have been smiling and

2    cheesing.   I'm going to say what she has done.

3                Year 2000-2001, she will not support

4    the JROTC program.   JROTC is one of the programs

5    that make Forest Park Senior High School a

6    city-wide school.    She will not support it.   She

7    actually wanted and fired Sergeant Freney

8    (phonetic).   He was going to retire, but she

9    fired him because of a quote, unquote freeze was

10   up, and then she brung in a new JROTC instructor.

11               After that she then had certain people

12   leave.   For instance, Mr. Lee, he was an English

13   teacher and he was in charge of the drama club.

14   He had students express the way they felt and

15   things like that of that nature through drama or

16   whatever.   And he asked for certain monies and

17   she didn't give it to him.    So he left.   He said

18   before he left, he told me that he could not deal

19   with her disrespect to him.   Once again, she was

20   treating him as a child, he said.

21               Within four years, we went through four




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1    music teachers because she would not support the

2    music department.   She also will not -- she also

3    threatened the teacher because the monies were

4    missing from class of 2004.   Someone broke into

5    their locker.   And she told the lady that she

6    would have to pay back the money that was

7    missing.

8               The lady simply explained to her that

9    the money was stolen.   She threatened her once


10   again like she threatened everyone else.    The

11   lady had to pay $1,000 out of her pocket.

12              We have spoken with Ms. English,

13   Ms. Laverne Sykes, Ms. Alice Pinderhughes, which

14   is a graduate of Forest Park, and Ms. Yvonne

15   Holstone (phonetic), they came in and visited

16   Forest Park and said, this is a complete

17   embarrassment to be in the school.   This was not

18   their alma mater.

19              I'm telling you, this lady has her last

20   strike.    I'm telling you as the Board, please,

21   please, do something, because it is no longer




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1    liveable, and it is no longer a learning

2    environment in Forest Park.     I'm really, really

3    tired of this.   Okay.   Thank you.

4              Please, please listen.      Hear me.   I see

5    you all next year.

6              (Applause.)

7              COMMISSIONER WELCH:   I'll sure someone

8    will assist Mr. Dominique Taylor and Mr. Lamont

9    Thomas.

10             At this time we generally turn our part

11   of the evening's proceedings over to our CEO, and

12   we would just like to remind you that this will

13   be the last time that we turn this portion of the

14   proceedings over to Carmen Russo.

15             We know that she has been here for a

16   while now.   She likes Baltimore a lot, but she

17   has decided to take up the things she has learned

18   and take them with her to Florida and where she

19   will be doing lots of other things.

20             So Carmen, on behalf of the members of

21   the board, we would like to extend our




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1    congratulations to you and our thanks to you for

2    bringing the system from where it was when you

3    came here to where it is now.   We certainly know

4    that I speak on behalf the wider community in

5    wishing you well.

6            It is time for information and

7    discussion.

8            (Applause.)

9            MS. RUSSO:    Thank you very much.   I will

10   say to that that it has been a privilege and an

11   honor to serve the youth of Baltimore for the

12   past three years.   And I believe that together

13   with my team of senior managers and officers that

14   we have changed the landscape in education.    And

15   for those of you in the room who have been

16   partners, I want to thank you all very, very

17   much.

18            On that note, we are going to go to the

19   first information and discussion item, policy

20   consideration of the student disciplinary action,

21   the second reading.




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1              MS. SALLY ROBINSON:   Good evening,

2    Ms. Russo, Dr. Welch, and members of the board.

3    We are, I'm joined this evening by Chris Jeehan

4    and Gayle Amos.   We are here to have further

5    discussions on the proposed changes to board rule

6    507, the second reading.   We were here back in

7    February for the first reading.

8              We are also here tonight to discuss, in

9    addition to the second reading to 507, the first

10   reading to 407 which is actually a companion rule

11   to 507.   You should have received in your packets

12   which were sent out to you on Friday the changes

13   that we are proposing to rule 407.

14             At the first reading in February, the

15   members of the board requested an overview or

16   summary of the proposed changes, and so you also

17   should have received in your package on Friday a

18   short, two-page document which contains a concise

19   kind of background information on why we are

20   proposing these changes.

21             First, the student appeal procedures




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1    are currently located in Article 4 of the board

2    rules, which are supposed to be designated for

3    personnel policies.   Secondly, the current appeal

4    procedures allow for a student or parent to bring

5    an appeal of a proposed decision.   In other

6    words, if a counselor in the office of student

7    suspension -- attendance and suspension proposes

8    to the CEO that a child be suspended, long-term

9    suspension or expulsion, our current rules would

10   allow a parent or student to actually appeal that

11   proposal.    What we are proposing is to change our

12   procedures to make them in line with COMAR, which

13   would require that a final decision be made

14   before an appeal can be taken.

15               Also, the current board rules that we

16   have in 507 do not, we feel, adequately explain

17   the process for expulsions.   Also board rule

18   507.08, which specifically deals with students

19   with disabilities, has not been updated for quite

20   some time.   In fact, IDEA was revised back in

21   1997, and this board rule still does not reflect




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1    the changes from 1997.

2             Lastly, we have also been requested by

3    the Maryland State Board of Education to make

4    some upgrades and some clarifications to our

5    rules.

6             MS. GAYLE AMOS:   At the first reading,

7    the board expressed concerns about students being

8    suspended or expelled without first attempting

9    less stringent discipline, such as mediation or

10   conflict resolution programs that we have in some

11   of our schools.   We do have variety of programs

12   in schools like Project Inspiration, and we have

13   a few schools, certainly not enough, that have an

14   in-school suspension program.   There were

15   suggestions that the changes be made to rule 507

16   to include these concepts.   However, if you refer

17   to rule 506, you will see that it sets forth the

18   board's philosophy regarding student discipline.

19            Section 506.2 specifically suggests

20   that the principal and staff of each school take

21   all reasonable measures to modify any




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1    unacceptable student behavior prior to proceeding

2    under 507.   I want to reiterate that these are

3    the board rules and the board's philosophy that

4    we do have a suspension-focused committee that

5    meets regularly to revise and review the

6    suspension procedures.   This summer, we will add

7    the -- we will make it mandatory for the

8    principals to do certain things in terms of less

9    stringent discipline.

10            Unfortunately, we can't do an in-school

11   suspension for each school, but we can institute

12   conflict resolution programs and the such before

13   a student is expelled or -- suspended, I'm sorry,

14   not expelled, because those are level 3, but

15   actually the first rule, the level 1 or level 2

16   suspensions.

17            We do have from the first reading to

18   the second reading, the board has suggested

19   several changes.   It will just take us just a few

20   moments to point those changes out to you, and

21   Chris Jeehan will do that.




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1            MS. CHRIS JEEHAN:   At the February 25

2    first reading, we provided a document which was a

3    side-by-side document with the original board

4    rules on one side and then our suggestions on the

5    other side.   When we presented that, you made

6    further recommendations to us.   And in the

7    document that you were provided on Friday, which

8    you have a copy of, what we have done is just

9    taken the revisions that we suggested and made

10   further revisions to reflect the recommendations

11   that you made to us on February 25.

12            So I would like briefly to go through

13   the document; there are not that maybe changes.

14   We did add a definition for chief officer, and

15   that would include the chief academic officer,

16   chief operating officer, or chief of staff to

17   kind of expand who could finally have that final

18   decision on the expulsion of students.   That was

19   at your recommendation.   That became definition

20   number 12 in the board rules.

21            We also changed some language where we




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1    had "when a principal believes that a student

2    might need to be removed"; at your

3    recommendation, we expanded that to "when a

4    principal has reason to believe."    And you will

5    find that change in language throughout the

6    document.

7                On page 2 of 7, we also, when we have

8    anything where we are notifying the parent of a

9    decision to remove a child, we added to "letter,"

10   "letter mailed first class and/or

11   electronically."   And that was a recommendation

12   of the board that we include that.   So throughout

13   the document, whenever there is a notification

14   letter to a parent, we have included that

15   language, that it will be made first class and/or

16   electronically.

17           COMMISSIONER DANIEL:    And I thought it

18   was and not an or.

19           MS. CHRIS JEEHAN:    Well, and/or simply

20   because some people don't have access to e-mail.

21           COMMISSIONER DANIEL:    I know.   That's




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1    why it is an and.   You will definitely send a

2    letter.   In addition to a letter, if they have an

3    e-mail address, you will also send it e-mail.       It

4    is not "or."   It is "and."

5              MS. CHRIS JEEHAN:   We put "or" just in

6    case they didn't have it.     We can take out the

7    "or."

8              COMMISSIONER SIEGEL:   I would also ask

9    that it be certified.   Do you have a problem with

10   that?

11             MS. SALLY ROBINSON:    I'm sure that, I

12   mean, at the expense of sending out all these

13   letters, I'm not sure what the expense would be,

14   I think it would be pretty steep.

15             MS. GAYLE AMOS:   I think what we find is

16   that some of the parents don't pick up the

17   certified mail.   We do have a history of sending

18   the mail out in the office of compensatory

19   awards, and we got a lot of certified mail back.

20   But we can consider it.

21             COMMISSIONER SIEGEL:   Is there an




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1    alternative by having a personal delivery from

2    one of our police officers?   I am concerned

3    because

4    just recently, as a matter of fact in one of the

5    board packets, there were references to a child

6    and parent being summoned to a meeting, and the

7    letter was not certified, they claim never to

8    have received it, and I unless there is a

9    signature, how are you going to hold somebody

10   accountable?

11             MS. GAYLE AMOS:   Perhaps, Commissioner,

12   we could put language here that speaks to

13   diligent effort, that speaks to making phone

14   calls, to making contact and sending the letter.

15   If that doesn't work, then sending a certified

16   letter.

17             COMMISSIONER SIEGEL:   Just, you know, I

18   don't know which method is right, but I can't see

19   our not requiring an acknowledgment from the

20   parent that the parent has been notified.

21             MS. CHRIS JEEHAN:   And the suspension




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1    counselors do make telephone calls in addition to

2    sending the letters.

3            MS. GAYLE AMOS:   I think what I'm

4    proposing is that we make diligent effort to make

5    contact, and a certified letter is part of that

6    diligent effort, that we send a letter and make a

7    phone call.   That if we don't get a response,

8    then we will send a certified letter as part of

9    the diligent effort.   Is that acceptable?

10           COMMISSIONER SIEGEL:   Yes.    I do think

11   that when we get a transcript and an appeal, I

12   think there should be a record of a letter that

13   had been signed for or some contact made,


14   telephone contact, with recording that you had

15   spoken with a parent, something that proves that

16   the parent has been fully notified.

17           COMMISSIONER WELCH:    Commissioner Jones?

18           COMMISSIONER K. JONES:   I think some

19   diligent effort language here would help.    I want

20   to ask about in-school suspension.    You mentioned

21   that we can't do it in every school.   I




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1    personally am a proponent of doing in-school

2    suspensions everywhere we can.   Are there some

3    limitations on our ability to broaden that

4    activity?

5            MS. GAYLE AMOS:   Staffing is an issue.

6    We would need staff to staff the rooms and then

7    we need room in the schools, available room.    And

8    we just did a look at what schools had it, what

9    it would take for schools.   Each year, we do add,

10   but not all schools have the room for, an

11   available room, and we haven't staff for it.    It

12   isn't in our staffing.   We need an available

13   teacher, and often times, a power to staff it.

14           COMMISSIONER K. JONES:   Space is a valid

15   issue, and staff is a valid issue, and demands on

16   you all to spend more money is a valid question.

17   But we should take a look at opportunities to do

18   in-school suspension wherever we can.   When the

19   kids are just on the street, we are not doing

20   them any good at all.

21           MS. GAYLE AMOS:   We agree.




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1             COMMISSIONER SIEGEL:   And I do think

2    that we need to pair up with other agencies for

3    oversight for these children.   I believe that

4    there are rules that they are not to be on the

5    street between 9:00 and 2:00 or something.     But

6    who sees that that happens?   And I don't know the

7    answer to that.    It is one thing to have a set of

8    rules.   Unless there is a way of implementing

9    them, they are not very meaningful.

10            MS. GAYLE AMOS:   Commissioner, we do

11   have a partnership that started in one school

12   this year that is planning to expand city-wide.

13   We have a partnership with the Mayor's office and

14   the police department, that they will pick the

15   students up and take them either to the school or

16   to a rec center.   So we did start it in one

17   school, and it is being -- the program is being

18   evaluated and then we will expand it.   It is a

19   partnership with the city.

20            COMMISSIONER SIEGEL:   Thank you.

21            MS. CHRIS JEEHAN:    On page 3 of 7, in




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1    our first reading, we had recommended that there

2    be no limitations on the number of short-term

3    suspensions.    At your recommendation, we have put

4    limits back into the board rules.   Previously,

5    the limit was that no student may be placed on

6    short-term suspension if during the semester, he

7    or she has already received three short-term

8    suspensions.    By the definition of "short-term

9    suspensions" that could be as little as 3 or as

10   many as 30 days.   In our recommendation, we said

11   that instead of the number of suspensions, we are

12   recommending that it be a number of cumulative

13   days removed.   So that in the recommendation that

14   we are presenting today, no student may be placed

15   on short-term suspension if during the quarter,

16   he or she has already received short-term

17   suspensions totally 10 days.   We thought that

18   would be more meaningful than the number of

19   short-term suspensions, look at the actual number

20   of days the child would be out.

21            No other changes on page 3 other than I




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1    have already stated with the changes in language.

2             On page 4, we have added the chief

3    officer, if the designee's decision is to

4    recommend expulsion the CEO, or chief officer, so

5    we would have more than one person that could

6    make that decision.

7             On page 5, we took the appeal

8    procedures, which, as Sally mentioned, were

9    previously mentioned in 407 and moved them to

10   507.06, and they are there as we had presented

11   them at the first reading.   Yes?

12            COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   As opposed to the

13   words "chief officer," can we write and

14   "designee."   We don't have -- we don't have

15   anybody in our system called chief officer.

16            MS. CHRIS JEEHAN:   We define chief

17   officer on page 1.    Our definition for number 12

18   was, Chief officer shall include chief academic

19   officer, chief operating officer, or chief of

20   staff.

21            COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   Sorry.   I missed




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1    that, okay.

2            COMMISSIONER STONE:     I think the

3    addition of the word "designee" might be

4    appropriate.

5            MS. GAYLE AMOS:    Well, that's the word

6    you all asked us to take out.

7            COMMISSIONER STONE:     Not me.

8            MS. CHRIS JEEHAN:    On page 6, we didn't

9    make any changes to the students with disability

10   section 508.08.   No recommendations were

11   recommended to us other than we already

12   presented.    We would since we are caught up with

13   IDEA 19, 17 and they are getting ready to

14   reauthorize again, we will probably be before you

15   to make changes again, to reflect whatever the

16   legislature says.

17           MS. GAYLE AMOS:    Before the third

18   reading, we are required to have a forum for the

19   public to discuss the board rules for suspension

20   and expulsion and we plan to do that within the

21   next couple of weeks, so that we could come back




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1    before you for the third reading in August.

2             COMMISSIONER SIEGEL:   May we at that

3    time possibly have an update of the effectiveness

4    of the mentoring, the mentors who have been

5    assigned to some of the students, whether it has

6    made a difference?

7             MS. GAYLE AMOS:   You mean the Baltimore

8    Rising program?

9             COMMISSIONER SIEGEL:   Yes.   I mean

10   the -- through the Mayor's office.     Yes.   I think

11   this would be a very good time to evaluate

12   whether or not or how much that intervention is

13   doing and it may give us some other direction.

14            MS. GAYLE AMOS:   We could do it there,

15   but we could also have an update at the safety

16   committee meeting.

17            COMMISSIONER SIEGEL:   Yes, I would hope

18   that.   Thank you.

19            COMMISSIONER MURPHY:   We seem to -- Mary

20   Azamowski (phonetic) isn't here, but we seem to

21   have these new (inaudible) that are continually




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1    coming down from No Child Left Behind, and I know

2    that they have -- there has been some guidelines

3    relative to truancy in No Child Left Behind, but

4    I'm wondering, has anything come down or is there

5    anything that we have to look at or address

6    relative to suspension and expulsion from No

7    Child Left Behind?

8            MS. GAYLE AMOS:   We do report

9    suspensions and expulsions to the State, and

10   there is a consideration in the dangerous

11   schools, that we, you know, that -- I'm not sure

12   and I don't want to misquote, you know, exactly

13   what the rule is, but the number of suspensions

14   and expulsions have an impact on which of our

15   schools are deemed dangerous, unsafe schools,

16   unsafe schools.   I want to mention, though, that

17   with the truancy, we are revising the attendance

18   policy, which gives -- chronic truancy will come

19   under that, and we will come back before you with

20   a revised attendance policy that will directly

21   reflect some changes in what we want to do in




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1    requiring the schools to work with truants,

2    chronic truants.

3            MS. SALLY ROBINSON:    This will be very

4    short and sweet.   For the first reading of the

5    proposed changes to rule 407, again, in 407.01,

6    which deals with applicability of section 407

7    procedures, changes that we were proposing here

8    will show that the subsequent sections 407.02 and

9    03, the hearing officers themselves and the


10   conduct of the hearing is what will be applicable

11   to the students who have been suspended or

12   expelled.   As far as the bulk of the procedures

13   prior to the actual taking of the hearing, those

14   rules there be found in 507.   And the only other

15   changes that you will see here are just very

16   minor grammatical and capitalization changes that

17   should have been made.   Thank you.

18           COMMISSIONER WELCH:    Thank you.

19           MS. RUSSO:   Disciplinary actions?

20           MR. TIMOTHY DIXON:     Good evening

21   Dr. Welch and other honorable members of the




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1    board and Ms. Russo.   I have been asked to report

2    on the following, disciplinary bid protest and

3    grievances.   I would ask that the board uphold

4    the CEO's recommendation in all of these cases:

5    Case 03-06S, case 03-11S, case 03-14S, case

6    03-16S, case 03-17S, case 03-01, case 03-12G,

7    case 70-416, case 03-15S, case 03-19S, and case

8    03-20S.

9              (Moved and seconded.)

10             COMMISSIONER WELCH:   Properly moved and

11   seconded that we would approve.   All in favor say

12   aye.   Opposed?

13             (Motion approved.)

14             MS. RUSSO:   Okay, that's it, Mr. Dixon.

15             UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN:   Good evening,

16   Dr. Welch, Board of Commissioners, Ms. Russo.

17   Before I present the PEP report, I would also

18   like to say good-bye to Ms. Russo and good luck

19   in your future endeavors, and it has just been a

20   pleasure working with you.

21             At the time, I would like to present




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1    the PEP report.   We reviewed it.    I believe it

2    was either faxed to you or in your supplemental

3    package.

4               COMMISSIONER K. JONES:   So moved.

5               COMMISSIONER STRINGFIELD:   Second.

6               COMMISSIONER WELCH:   Properly moved and

7    seconded that we would approve the PEP agenda.

8    All in favor would say aye.      Opposed?

9               (Motion approved.)

10              MS. RUSSO:   Mr. Dixon, the living wage.

11              MR. TIMOTHY DIXON:    Dr. Welch, other

12   honorable members of the board, and Ms. Russo, in

13   December of 1998, the school board adopted the

14   living wage policy.     This policy provides the

15   contractors awarded contracts by the school board

16   to provide food services, bus transportation

17   services, and cleaning services must pay their

18   service workers a living wage.      In 1998, the

19   board adopted a living wage of $7.70 per hour.

20   Over the last several years, the board has

21   extended and increased the amount of living wage.




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1    The current living wage, which is set at $8.10

2    per hour is set to expire on June 30, 2003.    The

3    school board must decide whether to extend the

4    living wage, and, if so, whether the amount of

5    the living wage should be changed.    In the event

6    the board takes action this evening, school board

7    rule 406 will be modified to reflect the action

8    taken by the board.

9              COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   I move that the

10   living wage be --looking for the right word.

11             COMMISSIONER K. JONES:   Extended but not

12   raised?

13             COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   I was going to use

14   extended, but I don't think we are supposed to

15   extend the contract, right?     We are supposed to

16   put in a new one?   So I make a motion that we

17   have a new contract but at the current rate, wage

18   rate.

19             COMMISSIONER K. JONES:   Second.

20             COMMISSIONER WELCH:    Properly moved and

21   seconded.   All in favor would say aye.   Opposed?




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1               (Motion approved.)

2               MS. RUSSO:   Thank you, very much.   We

3    will now do the special education staffing plan.

4               MS. GAYLE AMOS:   Good evening,

5    Dr. Welch, Ms. Russo, Board of School

6    Commissioners.   Ms. Russo, I want to say it is my

7    last time before you, so I want to say thank you,

8    and, you know, I hope this goes well, because she

9    always insists that we practice.    So I hope it

10   goes well for my last time.

11              In order to receive federal funds

12   allocated through the Individuals with

13   Disabilities Education Act, a board-approved

14   special education staffing plan must be submitted


15   by July 1 to MSDE with our application for

16   funding.   The state will accept a one-year plan

17   or a multi-year plan.    We are proposing a

18   two-year plan.

19              Our assumption is that the staffing

20   formulas we use will not change, that our yearly

21   data can be and should be included in the budget




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1    approval process.   If there are other revisions

2    for how we actually do perform that, we will come

3    back before you at that time.

4             The school-based special educational

5    allocations in the proposed budget were prepared

6    using the formulas included in the staffing plan.

7    I will give you a brief, very brief, overview of

8    how we made this plan and how we did the planning

9    process and what should be included.   I will be

10   seeking to your approval of the plan and I

11   certainly want you to be informed.

12            Going to the first slide.     This is a

13   plan for students with disabilities from birth

14   through age 22, residing in the Baltimore City

15   jurisdiction.   The special education staffing

16   plan must document the data input process and

17   procedures used by us to determine the number and

18   types of services that we have to provide in

19   order to provide students with a free and

20   appropriate public education.

21            This year, as in past years, we are




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1    particularly interested, because of No Child Left

2    Behind, in improving instruction.    We realize

3    that the special education students are --

4    students with disabilities are subset of No Child

5    Left Behind and schools will be held accountable

6    for achievement.

7              We also realize that according to the

8    State, over half of our students still reside in

9    self-contained classes.     That number should be

10   reduced by half, so we are trying to hire in

11   staff for more inclusive education settings.       We

12   also realize that we need to staff for more

13   indirect services, and that is teachers working

14   with other teachers.

15             COMMISSIONER STONE:    Excuse me one

16   second.   I just wanted to add for the record that

17   our efforts to improve instruction certainly

18   predate No Child Left Behind.

19             COMMISSIONER SIEGEL:   Okay.

20             MS. GAYLE AMOS:   Thank you.   We have

21   always wanted to improve instruction.    I think we




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1    have been concentrating greatly, because of the

2    lawsuit, on compliance, and it is kind of a shift

3    for us.   Even though we have always wanted to

4    improve instruction, we have been under a consent

5    decree for 20 years for procedural compliance.

6    I'm happy to tell you that the Court has

7    recognized that we are in compliance, procedural

8    compliance, and that we are really pushing very

9    hard through our resources to instruction.

10   That's what I meant.

11             One of the things that we have always

12   not had enough of and Commissioner Daniel has

13   volunteered to come back to assist us in this

14   endeavor is the delivery of speech and language

15   services, so we do have a case load waiting for

16   you.

17             COMMISSIONER WELCH:   One contract we are

18   not going to --

19             MS. GAYLE AMOS:   And improving

20   instructional support to teachers, we find that

21   the best thing that we have done is to provide




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1    on-site, ongoing instructional support in the

2    classroom.

3             Our No Child Left Behind mandates, in

4    addition to instruction, have to do with highly

5    qualified teachers and our BCSS master plan

6    objectives, which we hope will drive everything

7    that we do.

8             We do have special education services

9    provided in different settings.   We are under the

10   least restrictive environment, we start with

11   regular education classes.   We go to resource

12   rooms, self-contained, our special centers, our

13   non-public schools and the residential.   The

14   allocation, staffing allocations are, as I said,

15   based on our direct hours and indirect hours.    We

16   do have an excellent, one of the best in the

17   country, special education tracking system.     And

18   I say that because that also has been recognized

19   by the Court as an excellent tracking system for

20   special ed.   We do use sets to manage our

21   programs and to track our students, and we will




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1    move to tracking our students' progress.    And our

2    student and our individual schools' staffing

3    needs are what's considered in the allocation

4    process.

5                As you can see, our enrollment, our

6    special education population -- and these are

7    December 1 counts -- compared from '02 to '03 has

8    remaining relatively stable, even though we have

9    had a reduction every year of about a thousand

10   students.   From this year, we are not expecting

11   that.   Our projection is remaining the same.     So

12   it means that we have the -- as the population in

13   the schools have gone down, the population for

14   the special education students has gone down

15   correspondingly.   But this year, we did have, as

16   I said, an increase in referrals, and our teams

17   will be working over the summer or those students

18   will not be eligible, but we are expecting some

19   increases in the area of learning disabilities.

20               So are there any questions about the

21   numbers or categories?   No.   Okay.   The number




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1    and type of service providers is -- Mr. Struever

2    isn't here, I wanted to point out we do have 200

3    less aides, paraprofessionals, minus 236 on the

4    chart. The rest are, remaining relatively stable.

5               We do have some staffing changes.   We

6    have some additional, by moving around staff, the

7    resource teachers in elementary schools, to

8    support the inclusions and special education

9    department heads in the middle and high schools,

10   some guidance counselors on the teams for pilot

11   schools.   We have less self-contained teachers.

12   We are moving them out of the self-contained

13   programs and less paraprofessionals and

14   psychologists.

15              We do have an accountability and

16   monitoring system that's required by the plan.

17   We continuously monitor on a daily, weekly, and

18   monthly and quarterly basis our student data to

19   ensure that the sufficient staff is allocated.

20   We do conduct formal staffing reviews and reviews

21   at a special request of a principal or an AAO.




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1    We participate in a system-wide staffing review

2    process and we adjust the staffing as necessary.

3                With that, that is what is included in

4    our plan.    As I previously mentioned I'm asking

5    for an approval so that we can submit or plan to

6    MSDE for our federal funding.

7             COMMISSIONER WELCH:    Commissioner Stone?

8             COMMISSIONER STONE:    Yes, thanks.   May I

9    ask, how much time do related services staff

10   spend as IEP chairs?

11            MS. GAYLE AMOS:   It would be by

12   individual team.   It is different from in each --

13   when you say IEP teams, each related service

14   provider has a case load, and they are expected

15   to chair team meetings for the students on their

16   case load.   It differs for each member of the

17   team.   And it differs in elementary, middle and

18   high school, because the teams have different

19   purposes in the schools.   I couldn't really

20   answer that.

21            COMMISSIONER STONE:    I guess my question




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1    more goes to if we have shortages in some areas,

2    like speech language providers, why we wouldn't

3    just have them providing service and why they

4    would serve as IEP chairs when that particular

5    expertise isn't necessary?

6             MS. GAYLE AMOS:   We believe it is

7    necessary.   We believe that the students -- we

8    need to make sure that the students, number 1,

9    are getting instruction; number 2, that they are

10   benefitting from instruction, and that this is a

11   way that we have been able to hold all the

12   service providers accountable for the work they

13   do.   It is basically in our team model.    If you

14   are asking me why we have the team model that we

15   do, that's an hour's conversation.

16            COMMISSIONER STONE:    Okay.   I will put

17   aside some time for us to have that.

18            COMMISSIONER WELCH:    Any other

19   questions?   Commissioner Murphy?

20            COMMISSIONER MURPHY:   I know that this

21   plan looks quite complete, but as we move forward




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1    in the future, I would like to see how our

2    information technology and what kind of

3    technology we are using in the, in our special

4    education programs that are benefitting some of

5    our students who don't respond to

6    teacher-directed types of activities.     Seems to

7    me that for many of these disabilities now, there

8    is great deal of software being generated and

9    being developed.   And I'm just wondering where we

10   are in that?   It doesn't certainly have to be in

11   this report.   But, I would just like to see where

12   we are in that area.

13           MS. GAYLE AMOS:   Okay.

14           COMMISSIONER WELCH:    Thank you.

15           MS. GAYLE AMOS:   I need a vote.

16           (Motion made and seconded.)

17           COMMISSIONER WELCH:    Properly moved and

18   seconded that we would approve the staffing

19   model. All in favor say aye.   Opposed.

20           MS. GAYLE AMOS:   Thank you.    It has been

21   requested -- excuses me, madam CEO, Councilman




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1    Stokes would like to have a word.

2            COUNCILMAN STOKES:   Ms. Amos, if I'm not

3    mistaken, part of your presentation indicated

4    that there had been a decrease prorated along the

5    lines of decrease in the population.   But then

6    you said this year that there was an increase for

7    request for service.   Was there any indicator to

8    say why that may have happened?   Has that ever

9    happened before?

10           MS. GAYLE AMOS:   It does happen at

11   times, but over the past, I would say, three

12   years, as our population, the whole school

13   population has gone down, there has been a

14   corresponding decreases in the numbers of

15   students in need of special education.

16           This year, the enrollment has remained

17   flat, projected enrollment for '04 is flat, so

18   there isn't that corresponding decrease; however,

19   because of the promotion-retention policy, we do

20   have some additional referrals that don't all --

21   let me reiterate, all referrals don't necessarily




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1    end up with eligibility for students

2    for special ed.   But what we are anticipating is

3    that we will have a need for more intervention

4    for certain types of students, so when I said

5    that the numbers remain and we are expecting to

6    have to provide more intervention services,

7    whenever we have a change in policy like that,

8    that happens.

9            COUNCILMAN STOKES:    Thank you.

10           MS. GAYLE AMOS:   Thank you.

11           MS. RUSSO:    We will now move on to the

12   fiscal year '04 education facilities master plan.

13            (Recess --    8:22 p.m.)

14            (After recess --    8:29 p.m.)

15           COMMISSIONER WELCH:   We are ready to

16   reconvene.   Mr. Smolarz, I think, Ms. Russo.

17           MS. RUSSO:    Facilities plan,

18   Mr. Smolarz.

19           MR. SMOLARZ:   Good evening, Dr. Welch,

20   Ms. Russo, Board of Commissioners.   I apologize

21   for not saying a word during that one




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1    presentation.   I kind of like not having to talk

2    up here at least once.   I will make up for it

3    now.   No, hopefully, I won't.

4              Before you is the fiscal '04 facilities

5    master plan.    It is a required document for

6    dissemination to the city and the state.    It was

7    reviewed with the facilities committee last week

8    at their meeting.   It was reviewed with the

9    department of planning, the planning commission

10   of the City of Baltimore on Thursday.   It is a

11   very hefty document.   It consists of many things.

12   I will go through it kind of briefly, and then

13   summarize next steps related to this document.

14             This document contains a lot of

15   required items for the school system, most

16   notably policies and guidelines of the board as

17   it pertains to our facilities, including

18   educational standards, our community customer

19   needs, organizational patterns and so forth.     It

20   also includes staffing ratios and whatnot.

21            There is a lot of community analysis.




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1    We worked very hard with the City of Baltimore's

2    planning commission or planning department to

3    come up with a lot of community analysis that you

4    have in front of you.

5             Next we have enrollment projections for

6    the school system, and there is 224 pages alone

7    on enrollment projections.   Those that are done

8    by school, it is actually kind of a nice sheet

9    for each school.   Shows a little inset picture of

10   the school.   Gives things like its address,

11   square footage, the grades, the area, the

12   efficiency ratings in terms of its FCI.     So there

13   is condition index.   It gives enrollment

14   projections over course of time, and also gives

15   recommendations for each school, includes recent

16   improvements and some analysis.   It is a very

17   helpful document in that you can get a lot of

18   information on one page for every school.    I

19   recommend that principals and area officers have

20   this document.

21            There is an inventory and evaluation.




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1    It shows our inventory of facilities.   Talks

2    about the evaluation thereof.   Our facility needs

3    analysis is included.   A companion document is

4    our strategic facility plan that was presented to

5    you on March 15, has our plans over the next

6    three years.   This document is more focused for

7    the immediate year and more focused on meeting

8    the CIP timetable for fiscal '05, which includes

9    a submission of our requests for facility

10   renovations and systemics for FY '05.   That

11   process starts up very shortly.

12            In this document it gives a sense of

13   those projects we will submit for.   There are

14   some additions to that list that we need to add

15   to this, and I will do so in consultation with

16   Commissioner Daniel.    And those are involving

17   Waverly pre-K to 8 and Pimlico Middle, the plans

18   that the board had approved and we will beef up

19   those requests.

20           We will also submit other

21   requests to the state for their consideration,




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1    like City Springs-Lombard, which was discussed

2    earlier today.

3             So in the cover letter, we will add

4    those items, because it is important that the

5    state sees that kind of documentation in this

6    document, because when they look at the October

7    15 submission, they go back to this document and

8    look for the background and support of the board

9    in that presentation.

10            Since we went through that in detail

11   with the facilities committee, I will stop here

12   and look to Commissioner Daniel for some of her

13   comments, and answer any questions you may have

14   in your review of this document.

15           COMMISSIONER MURPHY:   I just have a

16   comment before Commissioner Daniel, and that is,

17   I love the art, the children's art separating

18   each

19   of the sections, and I think that the subtitles

20   of these very, very interesting.

21            When we talk about the picture on




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1    enrollment projections, someone talked to us, I

2    don't know whether everybody can see that, when

3    someone talked to us today about being an

4    African-American school system, fundamentally,

5    having primarily African-American children, I

6    really think that we should begin to look at our

7    school system as multi-cultural.    We have

8    children from all different countries and

9    backgrounds in our schools, and I'm glad to see

10   this type of picture representing our enrollment

11   projection.   Sorry.

12             COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   That's fine.   The

13   facility committee, as I said -- as Mark said,

14   I'm sorry -- did go through this pretty much in

15   detail.

16             Mark, I'm going to suggest two things,

17   one is that we do add, as you said, Waverly,

18   Pimlico Middle, City Springs, and the other piece

19   is that you add, of course, what we have been

20   talking about all year is the lead in water and

21   how we are going to address that.   We talked




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1    about that at the facilities committee and that

2    was here, in here.

3                I'm also going to recommend that the

4    capital budget, once it is approved, it is also

5    added as an addendum or appendix to this, so

6    people can follow the numbers, the dollars, as

7    well as the projects.

8                We are asking for the full board

9    approval to submit this, only when the four items

10   or five items that I have just listed are added

11   to the entire package, and that's how we are

12   suggesting that it goes go to the State.

13               The addendum is because with City

14   Springs, and you know how I am about science

15   labs, sixth grade must have science lab,

16   Commissioner Struever has agreed to do that for

17   us.   So you can put that in there as an in-kind

18   service.

19              COMMISSIONER SIEGEL:   Wrenched from him,

20   I'm sure.

21              COMMISSIONER STRUEVER:   My pleasure.




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1              COMMISSIONER WELCH:    You know how to do

2    that.

3              COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   With those

4    additions, I am recommending is that the board

5    vote that this package go to the state.

6              COMMISSIONER WELCH:    Did we have a

7    motion?

8              (Motion made and seconded.)

9              COMMISSIONER WELCH:    Properly moved and

10   seconded that we would approve so it can be

11   forwarded to the State.   All in favor would say

12   aye.    Opposed?

13             (Motion approved.)

14             COMMISSIONER WELCH:    Wow.

15             MR. SMOLARZ:   Thank you.

16             COMMISSIONER WELCH:    Do you believe

17   that?   Budget?

18             COMMISSIONER STRUEVER:   As chair of the

19   finance committee, the last six months have been

20   some of the toughest of my life.      My hope is,

21   going forward, that we can restore confidence in




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1    the system and its financial management.   To do

2    less would do great injustice to the incredible

3    accomplishments we are making every day, every

4    week in so many of our schools across the system.

5    It is the one thing that keeps me going is to

6    visit a school and see what's happening.   And it

7    has been a heartbreaker for me to think that our

8    hard work, Mark, and the staff, and mine and the

9    committee's has caused hurt to those other

10   efforts.

11              It is tough.   When you look at the

12   revenue picture for three years to have a little

13   over one percent of new money to work with

14   against all kinds of big costs that we have to

15   pay for.   The teacher salary challenge, it is $30

16   million just for one year, the big increase in

17   health care costs, the unending mandates in

18   special education, and a particular frustration

19   for me is even areas that I think we are doing

20   great things and great progress have worked

21   against is on the finance side.   And I have got




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1    three examples.

2               One is the huge efforts to reduce the

3    turnover of staff, to really try to keep and

4    continue improving the quality of our teaching

5    staff.   And also, to improve our recruitment.

6    Those things, together, really clobbered us and

7    in a big way contributed to this year's deficit.

8    We had a whole lot fewer people leave the system

9    last year, and we had done such a good job


10   recruiting, we ended up starting the school year

11   not only with every teacher position filled but

12   with a couple hundred extra teachers.   The 4.7

13   percent vacancy rate which we had in the budget,

14   which, historically, is what the system had; 4.7

15   percent of its 12,000 or so positions were empty

16   positions.   And because fewer people are leaving,

17   lower turnover, better recruitment, we had a zero

18   percent vacancy rate this year, and that was $30

19   million.

20              A second area is on enrollment.   The

21   system has benefited from the year lag of state,




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1    federal, and local funding.    We lose consistently

2    3,000-4,000 students a year.    That was

3    essentially a big pot for the following year

4    because we had funding as if we had the 3,000.

5             We have been turning that around.     This

6    year we only had a drop of 1,000 students.     Next

7    year we are expecting, miracle of miracles, they

8    have got to say a word about this in the papers,

9    we had to go out and prove we were going to do

10   it, increase enrollment.   And that worked against

11   us because of the lag in funding.   That's the

12   second frustration.

13            And the third is the system has been

14   plagued by not spending the restricted grant

15   money it had available, and ending up with

16   millions and millions sitting around unspent,

17   causing all sort of exasperation with great

18   friends of the system like Nancy Grasmick.     And

19   we have done such a good job.   This year we

20   actually beat our goal and had 1.8 percent

21   carryover the restricted grant, down from a




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1    number that was far, far higher than that many

2    years ago.

3               So it is sort of damned if you do,

4    damned if you don't on these three very important

5    areas of progress that have made our situation

6    tougher.

7               And that led to this the miserable day

8    in November, where we announced a projection of a

9    $31 million deficit for this fiscal year, which

10   added to the $22 million carryover deficit, put

11   us with a $53 million number in the hole.

12              We put together a plan to reduce the '03

13   deficit and immediately launched framework for

14   the FY '04 budget, next year's budget, that set

15   two important goals:   One was to eliminate the

16   entire carryforward deficit in no more than two

17   years; and secondly, for the first time ever, to

18   create a reserve, so that if unforeseen

19   unhappiness happened financially, that we would

20   have some cushion to deal with it.

21              The CEO put out a list of cost-saving




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1    ideas that caused some consternation, but it was

2    an effort to really put everything out there in

3    terms of options available to the board, summer

4    school, class size, special education staffing,

5    and center consolidation, officially efficiency.

6    We went through an open and collaborative

7    process.   At times, it was painful, sitting

8    through the forums and hearing the concerns.     And

9    yet, I think it was one of the -- certainly, in

10   my six years, the most open and participative

11   process that we have had around our budget.

12              And we did what you have before, what's

13   Mark going to talk to you about, is a budget that

14   does achieve our goals.   We did succeed in

15   reducing our current year deficit from $31

16   million down to $19 million.   The budget does

17   provide for paydown of a little bit over half of

18   our carryforward deficit, and it does create a

19   reserve for the first time.

20              Unfortunately, much work remains to be

21   done.   And last year, I moved approval of the




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1    budget and sent out a series of concerns and

2    conditions.   This year, once again, the budget

3    will need, once it is approved tonight, needs

4    intensive focus, particularly over the next 60

5    days, before the start of schools.   We need to

6    know where we are in final numbers for FY '03

7    which ends this week.   We need to see where we

8    are after the July 15 deadline for resignations

9    and retirements, so we can see where we are with

10   the projected average salary for our teaching

11   staff.

12            We need to implement our payroll system,

13   HRMS system, and make sure it works, because that

14   has been our Achilles heel, 80 percent of our

15   cost is staff.   To really know who we have, where

16   they are, what we are at paying them is just

17   hugely important, and if we don't get control of

18   that, we are not going to control our money.

19            This look over the next 60 days, in my

20   mind, may require some hard decisions by the

21   interim CEO, the board, on hiring fewer people




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1    for the next school year and potentially

2    reassigning staff to make sure that we are as

3    lean as we have to be to meet our financial

4    obligations.

5             We will have to have very detailed

6    plans on our proposed efficiency savings that are

7    in the budget around food service,

8    transportation, around facilities, so we don't

9    get accused of having these plugged numbers for

10   re-engineering that we simply aren't able to

11   follow through and achieve those savings.

12           So we need a plan of action, a schedule,

13   and some real accountability around them.

14            And that lastly, we are going to need

15   an incredible effort by all our friends around

16   new dollars, because this system is never going

17   to move forward unless we get new dollars into

18   the bucket.    That's from everywhere.   It's from

19   the business community, from foundations, from

20   the city, from the state, from the federal

21   government.




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1              Mark's going to talk to you about a

2    budget process which we have -- we have talked

3    for a long time about what we want to do with

4    budget.   We are not where we want to be with our

5    budget process and timetable.   My hope is that

6    the budget process can start July 1 and build on

7    the first-in-state effort of integrating the

8    master planning with the budget that we did this

9    spring, and really make that into a meaningful

10   effort to have program drive our budget, because

11   that's what really counts.

12             So I will not be here to make sure that

13   intensive focus and discipline is there.   And,

14   therefore, I'm not going to be able to, in good

15   conscience, move passage of this budget.   I do

16   appreciate the hard work by everybody, the senior

17   staff, Cassandra, Gayle, Mary, all the -- Joe

18   Kirkman, all the people that I know have been

19   sweating bullets over the past six months,

20   helping with the tough decisions in this very

21   unfair situation that our children are placed in




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1    in terms of having the funding we really need to

2    do all that we know needs to be done to have

3    great schools.   It's been truly an heroic effort

4    by many to get the budget to where it is today.

5    I would like to thank all those folks for really

6    being, rolling up their sleeves, being at the

7    table.

8             I would like to thank the members of the

9    blue ribbon steering committee.   We get some

10   excellent ideas from them that are reflected in

11   the budget.   And also, things, ideas, that are

12   not in there, things that were going to be in the

13   budget but weren't because of the suggestions.     I

14   think a lot of people put the shoulder to the

15   wheel in a very tough situation, and I personally

16   would like to thank them.

17            And I also offer my sincere regrets

18   from anything I have done in my tenure that's

19   contributed in any way to the sad public

20   perception of this school system in terms of its

21   financial management.   It deserves much better.




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1    Too many great things are being done here, and by

2    gosh, by golly, we need to make the world

3    recognize that.

4                And with that, I turn it over to Mark,

5    and I'm finished talking about this budget.    And

6    it will be with some sadness and some relief, I

7    must say.

8            COMMISSIONER MURPHY:    Thank you.   Today

9    is the 24th, and I know that some principals,

10   probably, and staff are listening to this

11   discussion, and I wonder if our CEO can assure

12   the schools that their budgets will be in the

13   schools, as promised, by the 26th?

14           MS. RUSSO:    We said that if the budget

15   was passed this evening, that we would start

16   immediately within the next 48 hours to get them

17   out to the schools.   So it will -- we need to

18   have the conversation and have a vote this

19   evening and then we will certainly pass them out.

20           MR. SMOLARZ:    If I could, I don't know

21   if Ms. Donaldson passed out the --




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1              MS. DONALDSON:   They are here.

2              MR. SMOLARZ:   That's an important

3    document that was called for by Commissioner

4    Daniel on Saturday, and I think it is important.

5    It really addressed some of Commissioner

6    Struever's comments that we need to get started

7    earlier next year.

8              And on the task, I won't read all of

9    it, I want to focus on a couple of recurrent

10   themes.   Clearly by the middle-end of August, we

11   would present to you the fiscal '03 unaudited

12   financial results, and we plan to -- we believe

13   we can get that done inside 60 days, in

14   conjunction with that present updates to the

15   fiscal '04 budget, because, as Commissioner

16   Struever pointed out, it is important to really

17   see where we end '03 in making some other

18   decisions on '04.

19             In addition, with the transition of the

20   interim CEO, there probably be will be some other

21   changes that need to be factored in as well and




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1    some of the loose ends that Commissioner Struever

2    pointed out.

3               Shortly thereafter, in September, we

4    want to start the master planning and budgetary

5    process.   It is important that we get the master

6    plan out early.    We want to do that in September.

7    And then once we get that going and present

8    preliminary strategies to the board in September,

9    we can then release budget instructions.   So

10   that's our goal.   We will be working with some

11   interim revenue projections at that point, but we

12   want to start then.

13              The other aspect that's important is

14   having a consistent schedule in presenting

15   unaudited financial results.   What you will see


16   is on an every two-month or bimonthly basis, we

17   will present, inside 45 days, those financial

18   results to the CEO, to the finance committee, and

19   to the board.   More importantly, though, is we

20   will distribute budget-to-actual variance reports

21   to department heads, and ask for reports from




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1    each department head and officer, describing

2    their analysis of the budget-to-actual and

3    explain any significant variances, and that that

4    would be due within two weeks after the

5    distribution.   I think that's an important

6    control mechanism that is not in place today that

7    needs to be done and shared with the CEO and the

8    board.

9             The rest of the items kind of just go

10   through the year and show how we do the every

11   other month.    It also talks about when we are

12   going to present preliminary fiscal '05 budgets.

13   We look to have most of that done by January, and

14   ask to send out school-based budgets to

15   principals in February, get that back in

16   February, present an updated fiscal budget back

17   to the board in March, and then do a final in

18   May, just because we think we need to wait until

19   the General Assembly is done in April before we

20   want to finalize our budget, because revenue

21   projections, as we saw this past year,




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1    significantly change.

2             In one event -- in one sense, we were

3    fortunate by being late, because we saw the

4    downturn in revenue that the other jurisdictions

5    had not and they are now scrambling to adjust

6    their budgets.

7            So I don't think you want to finalize

8    your budget until after General Assembly

9    is complete in mid April.   But then a lot of the

10   hard work is done before that, so then you just

11   kind of wait and say, okay, is my revenue that

12   I'm projecting on line or on target to what's

13   been approved by the state perspective?    Once

14   that is, you make adjustments to present to the

15   board to meet the May 15 deadline for the City of

16   Baltimore and the Mayor and City Council.

17            So that in a nutshell is the plan, the

18   21 items here.   I don't -- I think we need to go

19   through this document in more detail, clearly,

20   I'm looking forwards Commissioner Jones, now,

21   maybe we would meet sometime to go through this




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1    in detail, get the finance committee's approval,

2    because I put some dates for the finance

3    committee in here.   We need to firm up the

4    calendar.   I will spend some time with

5    Commissioner Jones shortly to finalize this.

6                In that, item 2 states that the update

7    to the fiscal '04 budget would be presented to

8    the board in late August, before the beginning of

9    the school year, which I think is important,

10   because over 90 percent of our costs really occur

11   in September, or thereafter.   As such, I would

12   recommend approval of the current budget in order

13   to comply with existing regulations, which meets

14   the board's directive to eliminate 50 percent of

15   the cumulative deficit, while maintaining a

16   reserve of 4.5 million or .5 percent of revenue.

17           COMMISSIONER K. JONES:    First of all, on

18   the dates that you have here, number 9 has got

19   sort of a monkey wrench in it already; presenting

20   unaudited financial records for the first two

21   months for the finance committee and the board in




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1    October, you have to do that without the new

2    payroll system collecting those costs for you

3    quickly, because I think we are unlikely to go

4    live this coming week.    It will be at best a

5    month after that.   And the longer that gets

6    delayed, the locker all of this good financial

7    reporting is going to take.       So we have to shore

8    that up.

9               MR. SMOLARZ:   Okay.

10              COMMISSIONER K. JONES:    Second, lots of

11   people have worked incredibly hard on getting

12   this budget together, and most have cooperated

13   with you in doing that.    But a budget is supposed

14   to be a plan for execution, and my fear is that

15   the plan as presented here is not really

16   executable.   It is too tight with respect to --

17   it's not really executable in meeting our goals

18   of reducing the deficit by -- I don't believe we

19   will have another deficit out of this, I

20   certainly hope not, but our goal was to cut our

21   deficit in half.    And I think there are too many




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1    imponderables.    There were more created this

2    afternoon in the executive session that make it

3    unlikely that we can sit on this plan and move

4    forward with it.

5             So I understand we have got to have a

6    budget adopted by this board so that moneys can

7    be allocated to schools.   But I believe that we

8    have a significant amount of additional work to

9    do in order to complete our financial planning

10   for how we are go to execute this coming year and

11   meet the goals.    This budget, despite everyone's

12   hard work, isn't going to get us there.    Things

13   have happened since the budget was written that

14   have an impact on it.

15           COMMISSIONER WELCH:    Discussion?

16   Commissioner Siegel?

17           COMMISSIONER SIEGEL:    To what extent

18   have departments overspent or schools overspent

19   their budgets?    Is that a problem?   Well, I don't

20   know where the 20 million -- I don't know where

21   the, what the source is of the budget deficit




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1    that we had?

2              MR. SMOLARZ:   That's a difficult

3    question to answer.   Are you talking about fiscal

4    '03 to date or fiscal '02?

5              COMMISSIONER SIEGEL:   Fiscal '03.

6              MR. SMOLARZ:   I think fiscal '03 is a

7    difficult year, because the original budget was

8    not realistic.   So I think, for example, there

9    was not consensus on what a reasonable budget was

10   for example in area of special ed.   In addition,

11   we know facilities clearly went over budget this

12   year for the reasons we talked about earlier.

13   And so those are two big areas.

14             The other issue, as Commissioner

15   Struever pointed out, was the vacancy factor did

16   not materialize to 4.7 percent that was in the

17   budget. It was somewhere around the one percent

18   mark, for example.    And that is throughout the

19   system.   There really wasn't a department that

20   didn't have that impact.   There those are

21   probably my big three areas.




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1               COMMISSIONER SIEGEL:   One of the things

2    that I hope we can have, and I think I have

3    mentioned this before, is a monthly printout of

4    the percentage of the budget that has been

5    expended to that date, and also the spending of

6    grant money to make sure that grant money is

7    properly -- is used first, before the other

8    monies.

9               I think it would be helpful for us as,

10   for oversight, but I think for the users, having

11   a monthly accounting of what percentage of your

12   budget have you used by now, and, if possible,

13   last year's at the same time.

14              MR. SMOLARZ:   That's what we are

15   proposing in this calendar this year, at least on

16   a bimonthly basis, but we certainly can provide

17   monthly financials at least on a cash, and do the

18   accrual on a bimonthly basis.     But as

19   Commissioner Jones pointed out, we need to first

20   get their HRMS to help us there, but we can still

21   do that.




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1            COMMISSIONER SIEGEL:   Thank you.

2            COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   On this schedule,

3    in line 10, what you were talking about, there is

4    some things that we have to still hone in on and

5    work throughout the summer.   I will just list

6    them.

7             One, we have a summer construction

8    project, cleanup, whatever process.   We have

9    plans for individual schools but we have not put

10   them all together yet.   That does include dollars

11   out of the operational budget for cleaning and

12   basic repairs, and considering that we are doing

13   so much construction, it is going to have an

14   impact on whatever that budget is.    And since we

15   have not put together a big massive plan to look

16   at the schedule, I'm not sure what that impact is

17   going to be, and no one else will also be sure,

18   and therefore, I think that has to be revisited

19   this summer once we finalize that.    That's my

20   first one.

21           My second item is that in this budget




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1    plan, maintenance and facilities, I believe goes

2    somewhere from $16 or $17 million back down to

3    $12 or $13 million.   Since I usually don't lose a

4    bet for facilities, I am going to bet that the

5    facility budget of the dollars we spent this year

6    will be the dollars we spend in next year.

7            COMMISSIONER K. JONES:    Five million.

8    Above and beyond what we have in here?

9            COMMISSIONER DANIEL:     Yes.   And I will

10   tell you why.   We had snow all the way through to

11   mid April.   Number 2, we have had two solid

12   months of rain, constant rain.    Our drain

13   systems, our pipes and Lord knows our roofs

14   cannot take that much pounding.   We are just now

15   starting summer and we have significant damage.

16   Those dollars are not in the aging school

17   projects.    Those dollars are in QSAP (phonetic).

18   Those dollars are not in the CIP.

19           We will, as we inspect schools this

20   summer, find additional damage due to the harsh

21   winter and rainy spring that we have had, and




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1    those dollars will be spent for the facilities

2    maintenance just like they were last year.    And

3    so it was cut.   I'm telling you, we are going to

4    spend those dollars.

5              The third item --

6             COMMISSIONER STRINGFIELD:    I tend to

7    agree with that.   If Mr. Smolarz will respond to

8    that.   That's just a very sensible thing.

9             MR. SMOLARZ:   I understand the comments

10   Commissioner Daniels made.     I don't necessarily

11   disagree with that.    However, we need to also, as

12   we are going to in transportation and food

13   service, take a look at how we do business in the

14   facilities operations as well, and hope that we

15   can do it a little more efficiently than what we

16   have.   Will that make up the five million?   I

17   don't know.   And I can't --

18            COMMISSIONER STRINGFIELD:    Are you going

19   to take her bet?

20            MR. SMOLARZ:   I don't do well with bets

21   with Commissioner Daniel.




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1               COMMISSIONER SIEGEL:   Neither does

2    anybody else.

3               COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   Again, no, again,

4    and I understand.   It is just that no one

5    expected the winter we had; no one expected the

6    spring we had.   I think the damage to our

7    buildings and our grounds are going to be more

8    than expected.   There are no capital dollars for

9    that.   So I do think we need to readdress that

10   this summer.

11              The last thing is that we have our plan

12   is to put the capital design staff on a capital

13   budget.    And I agree 100 percent with that

14   concept.   However, we have quite a few projects

15   that are already, that we already have contracts

16   in place for CM's and project managers.    So what

17   we will have to figure out is how to phase in

18   getting the staff covered through capital

19   projects, but it is not going to be a wholesale,

20   100 percent the first day the budget starts.

21              COMMISSIONER K. JONES:   Can I ask to




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1    interact for a minute?   Why isn't that an

2    accounting procedure, leave contract where it is

3    and simply switch the dollars over to capital

4    account?

5               COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   You can do that,

6    but you are still moving operational dollars out

7    of the operational budget and moving it into the

8    capital account.

9               COMMISSIONER K. JONES:   Right, exactly.

10              COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   Right.   That's not

11   what was proposed.   What was proposed is, and I

12   agree, is that as we have capital projects with

13   capital dollars, the architect, CM's, project

14   managers, their salaries are paid out of the

15   capital.   As opposed to outsourcing, okay, we do

16   more in-house direction or supervision, and we

17   pay that through capital dollars.    And we can do

18   that. That's not the problem.     The problem is we

19   have it in the budget as though that will start

20   day one, and that will not start day one because

21   we have quite a few projects that already have




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1    contracts for CM's and project managers.

2            COMMISSIONER K. JONES:   Are insource

3    versus outsource on the one hand and operational

4    dollars versus capital dollars completely

5    different subjects?

6            COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   Again, because we

7    already have contracts in place with CM's and

8    because we already have staff upstairs, it is not

9    a one-to-one ratio the first day.    It will occur

10   as we bring more projects on line.   We will have

11   more capital that will cover more salaries.   We

12   have to phase that in.   That won't happen day

13   one.

14           COMMISSIONER K. JONES:   Whoever does the

15   work and whenever they do it, we can start an

16   accounting change whenever we want and pay that

17   cost out of capital account rather than operating

18   account, can't we?

19           COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   Let me try to say

20   this a different way.

21           COMMISSIONER STRUEVER:   Making room in




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1    the capital budget I think is what she is saying.

2    July 1 start tagging --

3               COMMISSIONER K. JONES:   It certainly

4    reduces the amount of capital work you can do if

5    you --

6               COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   There are, there

7    are two issues here.   The first is if you have a

8    project, I will just say digital, that already

9    has a CM, you cannot take dollars that's paying

10   that contractor and move those dollars to pay for

11   someone in-house.   That contract is in place, you

12   have to finish paying out that contract, unless

13   you are going to break the contract.    Yeah, you

14   will.    I am just giving an example.

15              COMMISSIONER K. JONES:   The only change

16   we are talking about doing is funding the change

17   from the capital account.   That's all.   Keep the

18   contract, keep the contractor, keep them doing

19   what they are doing, but have the source of funds

20   be a capital account, as opposed to an operating

21   account.




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1            COMMISSIONER DANIEL:     Yes, that is true.

2    In this budget, it also lists the design planning

3    staff, and to move them over to, as well, the

4    capital account.     And that you will not be able

5    to do until we bring more and more capital

6    projects on line that don't have already

7    contracted CM's or PM's to cover those salaries.

8    And so it is something we just have to work

9    through and phase it in.

10            Can we do that.     Yes.   Will it get done

11   this year?    Yes.   Will it start day one?   No, not

12   unless we are going to go back, readdress the

13   entire capital projects budget, decide what

14   projects we are taking off line to do that.     And

15   I don't think we want to go back to have

16   community meetings to do that.      It is something

17   we have to work through.

18           COMMISSIONER K. JONES:      Okay.

19           COMMISSIONER WELCH:     Any other

20   discussion?

21           COMMISSIONER K. JONES:      Can you point to




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1    where the 17 to 12 million dollar reduction from

2    last year to this year is?

3               COMMISSIONER STRUEVER:   In the

4    facilities and maintenance under the CEO's

5    budget.

6               COMMISSIONER K. JONES:   Page 1016, is

7    it?   I wanted to find your number?

8               COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   I yellowed it in

9    my book.   Hold on.

10              MR. SMOLARZ:   It was actually in the

11   supplemental information that was given to you on

12   Saturday, on the third page, by subject.       It went

13   from 17.5 on the revised budget to almost 12.9.

14              COMMISSIONER K. JONES:   Is that?   Here?

15              COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   It was on this

16   right here.

17              MR. SMOLARZ:   It is more specific here.

18              COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   All I'm saying is

19   we spent 17.5 million this year.     The budgeting

20   for next year is 12.8 million.      I'm saying at

21   best we will probably hopefully be even.




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1               COMMISSIONER K. JONES:   No, I heard you.

2    I was looking to find the numbers.

3               COMMISSIONER MURPHY:   Ready for a

4    motion?

5               COMMISSIONER WELCH:    I think so.   I

6    guess that's all the discussion?     May I have a

7    motion.

8               COMMISSIONER MURPHY:   I move that we

9    accept the 2003 -- is it 2003-2004 operating

10   budget?

11              COMMISSIONER STRINGFIELD:   That's

12   facilities.

13              COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   Operating.

14              COMMISSIONER STRINGFIELD:   Operating.    I

15   apologize.

16              COMMISSIONER WELCH:    We did that

17   already.

18              COMMISSIONER MURPHY:   With the

19   admonitions that I think we received from our

20   former finance chairperson --

21              COMMISSIONER WELCH:    Not former yet.




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1            COMMISSIONER MURPHY:   The chairperson

2    that we make any, we review and make any

3    necessary changes by the middle of August.

4            COMMISSIONER WELCH:    Second?

5            COMMISSIONER SIEGEL:   Second.

6            COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   What about Ken's

7    comments and mine?

8            COMMISSIONER MURPHY:   Aren't we

9    reviewing the capital as well as operating?

10           COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   That we review,

11   that would include capital.

12           COMMISSIONER WELCH:    Is there a second?

13           COMMISSIONER SIEGEL:   Second.

14           COMMISSIONER WELCH:    Properly moved and

15   seconded that we would approve with the provisos,

16   all in favor would say aye.   Opposed?

17   Abstentions?

18            (Motion is passed.)

19           COMMISSIONER MURPHY:   Relative to the

20   plan for the new budget cycle, there was still

21   some concern about the fact that announcements to




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1    the general public, when the meetings were going

2    to be held, where they were going to be held;

3    although, we had very few people at the Monday

4    meeting, there was still some concern that they

5    really didn't know there was another meeting on

6    Monday, et cetera.

7             So as this is being developed, I think

8    some of our partners who are working with us in

9    budget process, that they be given very early

10   calendars or dates, et cetera.   And that maybe we

11   do some skywriting or something to let them know

12   when we are having these meetings.

13           MS. RUSSO:    Procurement agenda,

14   Mr. Parker.

15           MR. PARKER:   Good evening, Dr. Welch,

16   Ms. Russo, and Commissioners.

17           COMMISSIONER WELCH:     Hi, Mr. Parker.

18           MR. PARKER:   Regarding professional

19   services, item number A.   I will come back to

20   that at the end of my discussion and walkthrough

21   with these tables of contents.   And direct your




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1    attention to item B, and seek your approval.

2                (There were some abstentions.)

3              COMMISSIONER WELCH:     Do we have enough

4    others?   Okay.   All in favor?   Opposed?

5                (Item B approved.)

6              MR. PARKER:   Thank you.   Seek your

7    approval for item C.

8              COMMISSIONER WELCH:     Properly moved and

9    seconded.   All in favor would say aye.      Opposed?

10   Abstentions?

11               (Item C approved.)


12             MR. PARKER:   Seek your approval for

13   items D and E?

14             COMMISSIONER STRINGFIELD:     So moved.

15             COMMISSIONER K. JONES:     Second.

16             COMMISSIONER WELCH:     Properly moved and

17   seconded.   All in favor would say aye.      Opposed?

18               (Items D and E approved.)

19             MR. PARKER:   Seek your approval for

20   items F and G.

21             COMMISSIONER SIEGEL:    So moved.




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1            COMMISSIONER K. JONES:      Seconded.

2            COMMISSIONER WELCH:     Properly moved and

3    seconded.   All if favor say aye.   Opposed?

4    Abstentions?

5            COMMISSIONER DANIEL:    May I ask one

6    question?   I did not understand the billing

7    service issue.   What is the effect of that?    I

8    mean, how is that --

9            MR. SMOLARZ:   These are for employees

10   that are not on an unpaid leave of absence, so

11   they still receive benefits, health benefits, and

12   they need to pay their share.

13           COMMISSIONER DANIEL:    We don't, our new

14   HRMS system won't allow us to do that?

15           MR. SMOLARZ:   It will flag those people.

16   We could add a module for it to provide us with

17   invoices.

18           COMMISSIONER DANIEL:    Can I just ask

19   before, may be too late, I don't know, but it

20   would seem to me that before we brought in a

21   different service, we would see if our IT people




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1    could do a module and do this internally.   Is

2    that incorrect?   Or is that too much for a new

3    system or --

4            MR. JOE KIRKMAN:   I think that's a good

5    idea, but I wouldn't recommend that we try it

6    right now.   I mean, I think we could write that

7    software, but we are plenty busy with what we are

8    trying to do, and this a relatively minor amount

9    of money for a billing service which is something

10   that the school system has not done on its own

11   before because the city did this for us.    So it

12   is the combination of bringing that in-house and

13   trying to set up the service, I think it is

14   better for 40 and change to go ahead and have a

15   company do this that does it professionally.

16   Over the next year, if we can write the code, we

17   will do it, and then we won't have to continue

18   this service.

19           COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   Okay.   This is

20   what this contract says for the period of July 1,

21   2003, to December 31, 2005.   That's longer than a




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1    year.    I know my math may be a little fuzzy

2    there, but I count more than 12 months in that

3    period.

4               MR. JOE KIRKMAN:   We can always

5    terminate it early.   And if we get another

6    solution in place that's in-house, terminate it

7    early.

8               COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   I won't be sitting

9    up here.   But I tell you, we normally don't ever

10   terminate contracts early.

11              MR. JAMES CARROLL:    They have 30 days.

12              COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   We keep them

13   forever.   They become perpetuities.

14              UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN:    I will contend,

15   Commissioners, that it is more than just the

16   notification portion of it.      It is the

17   administration, the follow-up, the making sure

18   that the moneys come in, they are received where

19   they are supposed to be received, and that

20   everything is continued, and if we don't get it

21   by X date, then that is terminated itself.       So it




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1    is more than just willing.   And we have hundreds

2    of people that this happens with over the course

3    of the year.   So it is the administration, the

4    collection and the follow-up, also.   It is just

5    more than the IT program.

6                And I think that when we initially did

7    the configuration and, Joe, help me here, this

8    was the issue that we spoke about with Rudy, not

9    too long ago, Rudy Isaacs, we had -- the city was

10   doing this for us, and we did not configure this

11   in as a part of the initial configuration, so I

12   think that's the issue.

13            MR. JOE KIRKMAN:    That's correct.   This

14   is like a note collection service.    It is more

15   than just the determination that someone owes you

16   money.   It is the actual collection, the

17   administration that goes with it.

18            COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   It is already

19   voted on.   It will be here ten years from now.

20            MR. JOE KIRKMAN:    I will make one of

21   those bets with you.




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1               UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN:    I will make you a

2    bet on that one.

3               COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   It is not a

4    facilities bet.

5               COMMISSIONER WELCH:    We need a vote.

6    All in favor?   I thought we voted.

7               COMMISSIONER MURPHY:   Judy said we did

8    not.

9               COMMISSIONER WELCH:    Let's do it again.

10   All in favor.   Opposed?

11              (Items F and G approved.)

12              MS. JUDY DONALDSON:    Thank you.

13              MR. PARKER:   Seek your approval for

14   items H, I and J.

15              COMMISSIONER WELCH:    Being properly

16   moved and seconded.      All in favor would say aye.

17   Opposed?   Abstentions?

18              (Items H, I and J approved.)

19              MR. PARKER:   Turning to the section on

20   goods and services, request your approvals for

21   items A, B, C and D.




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1               COMMISSIONER K. JONES:   So moved.


2               COMMISSIONER SIEGEL:   Seconded.

3               COMMISSIONER WELCH:    Being properly

4    moved and seconded.      All in favor would say aye.

5    Opposed?   Abstentions?

6               (Items A-D approved.)

7               MR. PARKER:    Seek your approval for

8    item E.

9               COMMISSIONER K. JONES:   So moved.

10              COMMISSIONER SIEGEL:   Second.

11              COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   Wait, I had a

12   question, I'm sorry.      Is this for the copy

13   center?

14              MR. SMOLARZ:   Yes, it is.

15              COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   If I recall, last

16   year, we were doing the copy center in two phases

17   or three phases, and we were going to build it

18   up. And I couldn't figure out if this is to

19   replace an old machine or was this finish out our

20   concept of the copy center and build it out?

21              MR. SMOLARZ:   This request is just for




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1    six months while Mr. Kirkman pursues a full-blown

2    RFP to come up with the new copy center that we

3    want to get, and because we weren't able to get

4    on RFP out in time because of HRMS, this buys us


5    six months until he is able to do that.

6              COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   Mark, am I wrong,

7    but haven't we been working on this copy center

8    concept for about two and a half years now?    Two

9    years?

10             MR. SMOLARZ:   Probably the last year and

11   a half.

12             COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   Last year and a

13   half.    We are doing another six months and then

14   it will be a two-year concept on a copy center.

15             MR. SMOLARZ:   It is just a lot on the

16   competing priorities.    I know HRMS has really

17   taken a lot out.   We have been passing this

18   department around and now it is rested where it

19   needs to rest.

20             COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   Okay.

21             (Item E approved.)




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1            MR. PARKER:    Seek your approval for

2    items F, G, H and I.

3            COMMISSIONER K. JONES:     It seems that we

4    are buying computers from Dell now directly?

5            MR. PARKER:    Yes, sir.

6            COMMISSIONER K. JONES:     Do you know why?

7            MR. PARKER:    Prices.

8            COMMISSIONER K. JONES:     I always said

9    they would be cheaper.

10           MS. RUSSO:     In response to you.

11           COMMISSIONER K. JONES:     So moved.

12           COMMISSIONER SIEGEL:     Second.

13           COMMISSIONER DANIEL:     I'm sorry.    Joe, I

14   think you know my question.   Where did he go?     I

15   think Mike knows my question.    I'm looking for

16   the famous sentence which says every year, we set

17   a new criteria of what we wish our computer

18   programs to be, that new criteria, you know, we

19   evaluate or we are supposed to evaluate every

20   year, it is around June, and any new computers we

21   buy, we are supposed to the sentence that says




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1    that meets the new criteria.

2            MR. JOE KIRKMAN:    The sentence is here.

3    It is at the end of the first paragraph, request

4    to the board, specifications have been reviewed

5    and approved by ITD.

6            COMMISSIONER DANIEL:    That doesn't say

7    it meets the new criteria, because -- and the

8    reason I say that is because since April, and

9    maybe I missed a meeting, I haven't seen the new

10   criteria.    Every year, every year we say the

11   computer will no longer have, I don't know, this

12   is going to sound real stupid, but we will no

13   longer have 260's, we will have whatever,

14   whatever, whatever, whatever.   And then that

15   criteria is always approved by the board, and

16   then all the new computers, et cetera, we try to

17   meet that criteria.    And maybe it was done in IT

18   committee.   I'm just asking a question.

19           COMMISSIONER K. JONES:    It was certainly

20   done at the IT committee at the beginning of the

21   school year.   We will do it at the beginning of




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1    the next school year.

2            COMMISSIONER DANIEL:     Okay.   Well, two

3    things I request.    One is that normally we buy

4    a lot of computer replacements in the summer.      If

5    you are going to have the criteria, I request

6    that IT committee do that at the end or

7    springtime so that all new purchases will meet

8    that new criteria.   That's the first thing.

9            The second thing, having it in approved

10   in IT committee in fine.   It would be nice if

11   there was a sentence in here that new criteria

12   have been approved by the IT committee.

13           MR. JOE KIRKMAN:    We can do that.

14           COMMISSIONER DANIEL:     What happens, they

15   buy a lot of computers in the summer and they are

16   buying it on the old criteria.

17           MR. JOE KIRKMAN:    Okay.

18           MR. PARKER:     Seeking your approval on

19   those items, F, G, H and I.

20           COMMISSIONER STRINGFIELD:    Moved.

21           COMMISSIONER SIEGEL:     Second.




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1            COMMISSIONER WELCH:    Properly moved and

2    seconded.   All in favor would say aye.   Opposed?

3    Abstentions?

4            (Items F-I approved.)

5            MR. PARKER:   Thank you.    Seek your

6    approval for items J, K, L and M.

7            COMMISSIONER SIEGEL:    So moved.

8            COMMISSIONER K. JONES:     Seconded.

9            COMMISSIONER WELCH:    Properly moved and

10   seconded.   All in favor would say aye.   Opposed?

11   Abstentions?

12           COMMISSIONER K. JONES:     On this

13   Corporate Express thing, this seems to have

14   worked extremely well, are we aware that our

15   neighboring LEA's, Baltimore County, Howard

16   County, Harford County, are doing something as

17   good as this, and whether they might be

18   interested in joining us? Because the bigger --

19   if we are getting a 51 percent discount now, if

20   we were to triple the size of the contract, we

21   can get a 61 percent or a 71 percent discount.




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1               MR. SMOLARZ:   I think that's an

2    excellent discussion we can pursue.     We actually

3    had a competitor come forward and thought that

4    they would beat this contract.      And we went and

5    looked at ten of the most frequently or it was

6    more than ten, I guess, a couple dozen of our

7    most frequently purchased items, and Corporate

8    Express beat them, hands down.

9               COMMISSIONER K. JONES:   I'm not saying

10   this was bad.   They are good.     The way to drive

11   it down even farther is to increase the size of

12   the overall contract.     If Corporate Express could

13   have Baltimore County, Baltimore City, Howard

14   County, Harford County, dah, dah, dah, they would

15   squeeze themselves a little more.

16              COMMISSIONER WELCH:   All in favor?


17   Opposed?

18              (Items J-M approved.)

19              MR. PARKER:    Seek your approval on items

20   N through V.    That's N, O, P, Q, R, S, T --

21              COMMISSIONER STRINGFIELD:   So moved.




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1            COMMISSIONER SIEGEL:   Second.

2            COMMISSIONER WELCH:    All in favor?

3    Question?   Sorry.

4            COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   Mark, I just -- M,

5    that those -- she had a question about M.   I have

6    a question about N.

7            COMMISSIONER MURPHY:   We had talked

8    about this Dacron Heights (phonetic).    I don't

9    have all the -- I think it was a question

10   actually that Commissioner Tildon had concerning

11   these, this amount that seems to be going up, and

12   it sort of goes along with what Commissioner

13   Jones was saying, that if there is some way of

14   hooking up with some other entity that purchases

15   a lot of these same types of supplies that we

16   could

17   possibly get them cheaper and get a better deal.

18   We have these in such a large amount, $98,000,

19   that would be good.

20           MR. SMOLARZ:   The amount that's here is

21   based on this year's experience and is in the




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1    budget.   We have a lot of need for these

2    supplies.

3              COMMISSIONER MURPHY:   I know.   Again, it

4    may be something that we can bring down if we are

5    going to follow Commissioner Jones's suggestions.

6              MR. PARKER:    Last week I met with all

7    the interim directors in all the LEA's so we have

8    begun the discussions and dialogues now.    We will

9    find where we have a contact in here where we are

10   participating with Anne Arundel County.     Thank

11   you.   Commissioner Daniel?

12             COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   Mark, tell me what

13   N, page 52, I thought we asked that this process

14   or this plan go back and be looked at and to

15   reduce the cost.

16             MR. SMOLARZ:   We did it.   It came down

17   about $16,000.   It was 225 previously.

18             COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   And that's even

19   with the one school using a different location

20   and space?

21             MR. SMOLARZ:   Different space within the




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1    same school.

2               COMMISSIONER DANIEL:    And the project

3    time line was supposed to move to August.      It was

4    not supposed to be a rush.

5               MR. SMOLARZ:   Right, I think our

6    deadline was July 15 because they start our

7    summer school July 14.     So we moved it back

8    because they need time for orientation and

9    whatnot in August.

10              COMMISSIONER DANIEL:    Okay.   I'm very

11   disappointed in this price, but all right.

12              COMMISSIONER WELCH:    Not lowered enough?

13              COMMISSIONER DANIEL:    Not as low as I

14   thought the facilities committee thought it was

15   going to be.   But if you did what we asked, okay.

16              COMMISSIONER WELCH:    All in favor?

17   Opposed?   Abstentions?

18              (Items N-V approved.)

19              MR. PARKER:    Under lease agreements,

20   seek your approval for item A --

21              COMMISSIONER K. JONES:   Did we do R, S,




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1    T, U, V?

2               COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   Yes.

3               COMMISSIONER K. JONES:   Let me --

4               COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   No, wait.   I think

5    you stopped at S.

6               MS. JUDY DONALDSON:    He did the entire

7    block.

8               COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   You did?    Okay.

9    Then there is a problem for -- did you include V?

10              MR. PARKER:   Yes.

11              COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   Okay.   You have to

12   take that vote over because V has to be removed,

13   has to be taken out.

14              COMMISSIONER K. JONES:   What has to be

15   taken out?

16              COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   V.

17              COMMISSIONER WELCH:    We need to take a

18   vote then on V?

19              COMMISSIONER K. JONES:   What's the

20   problem?   Does that mean management and policy

21   and all that sort of thing?




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1              COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   It is.   It is just

2    that I have to recuse myself.

3              COMMISSIONER WELCH:    May we have a

4    motion?

5              COMMISSIONER MURPHY:   Moved.

6              COMMISSIONER K. JONES:   Is this

7    otherwise okay?

8              COMMISSIONER STRINGFIELD:   Second.

9              COMMISSIONER WELCH:    Properly moved and

10   seconded.   All in favor would say aye.   Opposed?

11   Abstentions?

12             COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   I just want to say

13   one last thing, I'm sorry, we made a promise to

14   the school board that old projects, not current

15   projects, but old projects, we will have all the

16   change orders in by June 30.     So we talked about

17   this two months in a row at facilities meeting.

18   We just hope you guys got all the old change

19   orders in, because I hope the board holds us

20   accountable, and for old projects, any old change

21   orders that got lost along the way just won't be




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1    paid.

2              COMMISSIONER WELCH:    Commissioner

3    Springfield will be watching.

4              COMMISSIONER K. JONES:   Quickly on item

5    S, page 62, the Digital Harbor Broadcast System

6    is ready to go, pending completion, compliance

7    with the MBE, WBE certifications.    I just want to

8    caution you all to make sure that that is done

9    and done well, those MBE and WBE, make sure you

10   got real competent people, not shaving something

11   off the top to make it look clean.    I'm not

12   saying everyone here has ever done anything like

13   that, but lots of people lots of places have, and

14   please make sure that this is done right.

15             MR. PARKER:   We have requested formal

16   letters from Whiting and Turner regarding this

17   matter.

18             COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   I also want to say

19   for F that the facilities committee asks that the

20   board be given a full report by the end of the

21   summer on how this broadcasting system will be




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1    used, who will be responsible for it, who will

2    report to, and what engineers will be hired on

3    staff to maintain this very expensive and

4    delicate equipment.   And so by the end of the

5    summer, before these dollars are spent, that

6    report is supposed to come back to the board.

7            COMMISSIONER STRINGFIELD:    This is not

8    Whiting and Turner?

9            MR. PARKER:    Right.

10           COMMISSIONER STRINGFIELD:    Just like to

11   suggest that if it is at all possible this

12   equipment is half as good as it must be at the

13   price that sometime early this fall, we have one

14   of our board meetings down there.   It is --

15   that's just going to be a showplace for the city.

16           COMMISSIONER WELCH:     Mr. Pitroff

17   (phonetic) would not mind.

18           MR. PITROFF:   You are all welcome, any

19   time.

20           COMMISSIONER STRINGFIELD:    Anybody

21   hasn't been down there --




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1               COMMISSIONER SIEGEL:   It is great.

2               COMMISSIONER STRINGFIELD:   So the next

3    phase is finished.   It is beautiful.

4               MR. PARKER:   Lease agreements, seek your

5    approval for item A.

6               COMMISSIONER SIEGEL:   So moved.

7               COMMISSIONER STRINGFIELD:   Seconded.

8               COMMISSIONER K. JONES:   Properly moved

9    and seconded.   All in favor would say aye.

10   Opposed?   Abstentions?

11              (Item A approved.)

12              MR. PARKER:   Seek your approval of items

13   in section under emergency procurement, items A,

14   B, C and D.

15              COMMISSIONER WELCH:    Have a motion?

16              COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   I make a motion --

17   I mean, I move.

18              COMMISSIONER STRINGFIELD:   I second it.

19              COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   Can I just correct

20   one thing?    Mark, I thought we agreed that we

21   would have the board vote on this and because we




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1    did need to start, quote, retroactively, but they

2    weren't really considered emergencies?

3            MR. PARKER:    Which ones?

4            COMMISSIONER DANIEL:    A, B, C, and D.

5            MR. PARKER:    It was really the timing

6    around the matters that made them emergencies.

7    Under the --

8            COMMISSIONER DANIEL:    We really have to

9    rewrite this policy.   I just need to tell you

10   that the due diligence was done and things are

11   moving forward correctly.   But I hate the fact

12   that we have to put it in the minutes as an

13   emergency.    This was really not an emergency

14   procurement.    We just -- it was competitive

15   processing.    All of that was done.   That's what

16   bothers me by using the term "emergency."     We

17   just to have come up with -- you all just have so

18   come up with a new policy and to define them.

19           COMMISSIONER WELCH:    So those are, ready

20   for the vote?   Properly moved and seconded.     All

21   in favor would say aye.   Opposed?     Abstentions?




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1             (Items A-D approved.)

2             MR. PARKER:    Okay.   There is one item

3    left over that I wanted to come back to.

4             COMMISSIONER DANIEL:     Before you come

5    back to that, I'm sorry, the facilities committee

6    we had modulars and engineering prefab buildings

7    that we went through.    Why weren't they on the

8    procurement?

9             MR. SMOLARZ:    It is item A.   Williams

10   Scott, modular purchase, page 73.

11            COMMISSIONER DANIEL:     I'm sorry.    I read

12   that as a science lab.

13            MR. SMOLARZ:    That was the next one.     B

14   is the science labs.

15            COMMISSIONER DANIEL:     I saw this.   I

16   thought we had more than one modular.

17            MR. SMOLARZ:    We do.   It is four.

18            COMMISSIONER DANIEL:     It was, I see

19   them.   For the unbelievable price that I still

20   don't believe is real.   Okay.

21            MR. SMOLARZ:    It is good we didn't get




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1    that one.

2              MR. PARKER:    If I could go back to item

3    1-A under professional services, we have -- you

4    were provided two handouts earlier today.      It

5    really is the achievements first for the CEO's

6    district elementary and middle school.

7              COMMISSIONER K. JONES:   We were given

8    two items earlier today?

9              MS. JUDY DONALDSON:    They were in the

10   supplemental.

11             COMMISSIONER SIEGEL:   So moved.

12             COMMISSIONER K. JONES:   Is this in the

13   budget?

14             MR. SMOLARZ:   Yes, it is.

15             COMMISSIONER K. JONES:   Seconded.

16             COMMISSIONER WELCH:    Properly moved and

17   seconded.   All in favor would say aye.   Opposed?

18   Abstentions?

19             (Item 1A is approved.)

20             COMMISSIONER WELCH:    Do we have a grants

21   agenda?




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1            MR. PARKER:   No, we do not.

2            COMMISSIONER WELCH:   Gifts and

3    donations?

4            MR. SARBANES:   For five years, I have

5    never asked the indulgence of the board, so I

6    hope you don't --

7            COMMISSIONER WELCH:   You really haven't.

8            MR. SARBANES:   I hope you will give me

9    this dispensation.

10           I want to first on behalf of the State

11   superintendent to bring congratulations

12   to the departing board members for their service,

13   which is an incredible example of commitment.

14   The dedication, stamina which they have

15   demonstrated over the years is exemplary, beyond

16   the call of duty, and obviously sets an important

17   example for their successors who are going to be

18   stepping into these shoes.   So that's my official

19   statement on behalf of MSD and the State and the

20   State board.

21            On a personal note, I would like to say




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1    a couple things.   There is a quote by Martin

2    Luther King which I find quite inspirational.     I

3    keep it on the wall in my office.   And he said

4    that if -- he said, whatever your vocation,

5    teacher, lawyer, doctor, make your avocation

6    civil rights, because it will make you a better

7    doctor, a better lawyer, a better teacher, and a

8    better world to live in.

9              And I think that a decent education is

10   the most basic civil right that any citizen, any

11   child can have, and the commitment of every board

12   member and certainly the three that are departing

13   to make their avocation civil rights I think is

14   an incredible one and I salute you for that.

15             I wish that Tyson were here tonight.    I

16   hope -- I think he got a little worn down towards

17   the end of his tenure, perhaps.   I hope he

18   doesn't leave the board with a heavy heart

19   because certainly his contribution was in many

20   ways singular as chair of this board at the

21   outset.   He was the one who kind of plunged into




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1    the unknown, and I think if and when the children

2    of Baltimore City achieve great things, which

3    they certainly will, it will be in part having

4    been to Tyson having taken that first step.

5             I will say something a little odd,

6    which is this very difficult time that you are in

7    brings a sense of relief to me in a way, and the

8    reason for that is I knew when you started this

9    journey that there was no way you were going to

10   get from where this system was to where it has to

11   be without there being a time like this.   So now

12   that it is here in some ways, this very difficult

13   time, we can have hope that we are moving to the

14   next phase.   I mean, the darkest moment is just

15   before dawn, they say, and there is still great

16   things to come.

17            So I hope this board will keep together

18   as it has, I know it will, for the children of

19   the system.   And I again want to salute the board

20   members that are leaving this evening, but I'm

21   sure will not leave the system in their hearts




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1    and minds.   So thanks.

2            (Applause.)

3            COMMISSIONER WELCH:    We recognize the

4    lateness of the hour, but I don't think we can

5    end this meeting without hearing from those

6    departing members.    And also, some parting words

7    from Carmen.   So, Carmen, we will start with you.

8            MS. RUSSO:    Well, thank you,

9    Commissioner Welch.   As I said earlier, it has

10   been a privilege and an honor to serve the

11   children of Baltimore.    When I came here three

12   years ago, it was very clearly with a mandate

13   from the school board, led by Tyson Tildon, who

14   talked to me about the toxicity of low

15   expectations, to be a change agent, and

16   certainly, to focus some of my energy on middle

17   and high school reform.

18            And I leave with always bittersweet

19   emotions, because it is about the people, it is

20   about the children, but I will say to you that I

21   feel that the landscape did get changed a great




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1    deal during the last three years.   And I

2    commented the other day to someone, and I'm sorry

3    Tyson isn't here to hear this, when he talks

4    about low expectations, or he did there in that

5    first year, he has now talked to me about we have

6    turned the corner.   And I think that in truth,

7    even though there is high school reform and there

8    is the Digital Harbor High and Dorothy and I were

9    talking about Northern High School being a major

10   accomplishment a couple weeks ago, for me, the

11   largest accomplishment for the last three years

12   is that when I went into the community, people

13   talked to me about how our children couldn't

14   learn.   And they would say things like, why are

15   you knocking your head against the wall, when I

16   was trying to break up Southern.    I don't hear

17   that kind of talk any more.   People really have

18   begun to believe, with the increasing test

19   scores, with the reform movements, that our

20   children indeed can learn.

21             And so I just hope that the gift I have




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1    left with everybody in this room who has worked

2    together as such a strong team is that people

3    will never go back to talking about the toxicity

4    of low expectations again and that we will

5    continue the momentum as adults working on behalf

6    of the children.   So, thank you.

7             (Applause.)

8             COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   I hadn't planned

9    to say anything tonight, so -- and I know you are

10   going to say something smart like that's unusual,

11   but, there are three things that --

12            COMMISSIONER WELCH:    She said she wasn't

13   going to say anything.

14            COMMISSIONER DANIEL:   I have no notes.

15   There are three things, though, that come to my

16   heart.   The first is that I learned over the

17   six years that having been appointed by both

18   Governor and Mayor's office, that we were allowed

19   to answer to no one except the children.   And

20   that the children -- at every meeting, Tyson

21   would say and Pat has said, what is in the best




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1    interests of the children?   If we could answer

2    the question, we move forward.   If we could not

3    answer the question, then it goes -- it went by

4    the wayside.

5            And I pray, and I'm sure with the

6    leadership that's on this board, that at every

7    meeting we will continue to ask that question,

8    what is the best for the children and the system,

9    because this system is not about one person.

10           This system is about the children, and

11   it does make a difference when you work 20, 30,

12   40, 80 hours a week, you kind of know the

13   operations, you know the internal information a

14   lot more than people just sitting at home and

15   looking on the outside.   And it is important that

16   we continue to ask that question and answer that

17   question and move this system forward as we have.

18   That's my first thing.

19            The second thing is I worked with a lot

20   of people in this system, but I really on a

21   weekly, daily, weekend basis got to work with




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1    facilities and design and construction.     When we

2    started in this school system, our annual capital

3    budget was $11 million.   If you look at this

4    facilities master plan for this year and over the

5    next five years, we were at $255 million worth of

6    projects.    That's aging schools, that's QSAP,

7    that's TEMS, that's CIP, that's bonds, that's

8    capital lease.   You put it all together.

9                When we first started, we were told,

10   you never get more than $15 million to work on in

11   this school system.   At 255 million, this school

12   system should -- we should feel good about

13   ourselves, but I am begging you, do not stop

14   there.   As I travel all over the country, New

15   Jersey, Detroit, et cetera, they have billion

16   dollar capital budgets.

17            Our schools are extremely old and

18   antiquated and we are putting this fancy-dancy

19   curriculum that our chair keeps thinking up here,

20   and we have to try to do that with very old

21   buildings.   So I think we really got to keep the




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1    pressure up about raising capital dollars in

2    order to support the educational programs we are

3    trying to put in places.

4                And my third comment is that I have

5    learned more from board members than I have

6    learned from any boss I have ever worked for in

7    health care over the 19 years.   We have fought.

8    We have cried together.    We -- and that's not --

9    tonight was not the first time I have seen

10   Bill cry.   It is not the first time we have seen

11   any of us cry.   And we have hugged together.     And

12   we have spent way hours of the night trying to

13   think through solutions to very complex problems

14   in order to move this system forward.

15             Given the scores over the past six

16   years, the graduation rates, the facilities

17   dollars and all the other things that we can, I

18   could name, I think that the members of this

19   board are a family.   I think we will always be a

20   family.   I think as new people are added, we will

21   stay a family, just like when old people have




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1    left, they have stayed part of this family.     And

2    I'm sure we will all continue to work to move

3    this system forward.

4              And those are the three things that

5    come to my heart.

6              (Applause.)

7              COMMISSIONER STRUEVER:   I worry that I

8    may never again be in the middle of such a noble

9    endeavor as the one that we have, all have been

10   about the last six incredible years.   Truly,

11   there is nothing more important than what we are

12   trying to do, which is prove that public schools

13   in the big city truly can deliver a great

14   education for all our children.

15             And I do get angry about those so quick

16   to believe that public schools are a waste of

17   effort.   I do get angry about the cynicism that I

18   believe is behind some of the things going on

19   today in Washington, No Child Left Behind.    And I

20   get sad when I know by seeing what we are doing

21   in our schools that when I know that that as rich




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1    as we are in Maryland and in America, that

2    somehow we are failing to spread the confidence

3    in ourselves and our teachers, principals, and

4    even us folks here at North Avenue, that we fail

5    to excite people as we feel excited when we are

6    in our joyful moments.   And it does, between the

7    anger and sadness, bring tears sometimes to our

8    eyes.   And I, too, will -- I have done a lot of

9    things, and no more special time than I have

10   spent with this here gang here at North Avenue,

11   in the schools, and most particularly my dear

12   friends on this board, and those that were

13   amongst us earlier and those that were amongst us

14   and are now back, and I wish my -- all my best to

15   Bonnie and her new exciting challenge before her.

16             So I hope in some small way that we can

17   stay together, and I hope in some small way we

18   can continue to be a part of this glorious

19   enterprise.   Those are my thoughts.


20            (Applause.)

21            COMMISSIONER STRUEVER:   Last time at




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1    this.    The Board accepts the gifts and donations:

2    A gift of 4270 to the George G. Kelson Elementary

3    School from the Sierra Club Foundation; a gift of

4    $500 to Margaret Brent Elementary School from the

5    Barclay-Brent Education Corporation; a gift of

6    $2,489.70 to the Margaret Brent Elementary School

7    from the Goldsmith Family Foundation.

8              COMMISSIONER SIEGEL:    So moved.

9              COMMISSIONER STONE:    Second.

10             COMMISSIONER WELCH:    Properly moved and

11   seconded that we would accept the gifts.      All in

12   favor would say aye.   Opposed?

13             (Motion is approved.)

14             COMMISSIONER WELCH:    This school system

15   survived desegregation in 1954; this school

16   system survived a major strike that almost tore

17   this system apart; and this system survived

18   MSPAP.   With all the good things it did and with

19   the all the anguish we felt, and this day will

20   pass, too, because tomorrow morning and in

21   September, all of the children will come to our




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1    doors with new clothes on, the floors will all be

2    shiny, and they won't care that we hit a bump.

3    They will just know that I'm going to school, and

4    I'm going to learn.

5            (Applause.)

6            (Meeting concluded -- 9:55 p.m.)

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1                 CERTIFICATE OF REPORTER

2

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4        I hereby certify that the foregoing is a

5    true and accurate transcript of the proceedings

6    in the aforementioned matter.

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9                  __________________________________

10                 Emily Rose Hoffman, Court Reporter

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