After years of agitation over the claim of a accepted admonition and affair on the academy lath and in the association about acknowledged acquiescence and outsized acknowledged spending, the Palo Alto academy lath voted Tuesday to appoint an centralized attorney.
The advisers accustomed affective advanced with bushing the position, which a antecedent lath accustomed three years ago, in a 4-0 vote, with lath affiliate Terry Godfrey abstaining.
Godfrey, who voted for the position in 2015, argued the district’s administration has back bigger and appropriate instead cat-and-mouse a year to see if an centralized advocate is still necessary. In a tight-budget year, she has said she would adopt to absorb the money to abutment acceptance directly.
The accepted admonition will address anon to the board, with a dotted band to the superintendent. The advocate will accommodate proactive acknowledged admonition on lath governance, accessible affair laws, the California Accessible Records Act, appropriate apprenticeship law and federal civil-rights law Title IX, amid added topics. He or she will additionally “review and adviser announcement of alfresco law firms” with the ambition of acid bottomward on acknowledged expenses, which accept developed acutely in contempo years.
The advocate will be asked to address account announcement totals from alfresco law firms on lath agendas, accommodate acknowledged training to agents and administrators and yze means to abate the district’s cogent excess of Accessible Records Act requests, amid added duties.
Godfrey fabricated a bootless alteration to crave that the advocate accept acquaintance in special-education law, accustomed three-quarters of the district’s acknowledged account this year is in that area.
Other lath associates said the centralized advocate is declared to be a generalist and didn’t appetite to absolute the hiring based on specific experience.
The lath did adjudge to crave the accepted admonition accommodate alternate recommendations on appropriate education-related acknowledged issues, as able-bodied as Title IX, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and investigations.
They additionally directed the board’s activity ysis lath to booty up a activity that states alone the lath admiral can acquaint anon with commune attorneys, back all lath associates would be able to allege with the accepted counsel.
The accepted counsel’s estimated bacon ambit is $171,000 to $188,000.
Superintendent Don Austin said the commune believes the position “should be calmly cost-neutral to savings.”
Deputy Administrator Karen Hendricks has additionally taken on a role “equivalent” to an ombudsperson, Austin said Tuesday, a role that was included three years ago in the accepted admonition position.
How would the candidates vote?
As allotment of the Palo Alto Weekly’s acclamation coverage, we will be allurement the candidates who are active for the Palo Alto Lath of Apprenticeship how they would vote — and why — on cogent issues that the lath takes activity on afore November.
This week, the Weekly asked the bristles non-incumbent candidates how they would vote on the accepted admonition position. Candidates Christopher Boyd and Kathy Jordan did not respond, but accessible comments they fabricated at the lath affair are below.
Per lath altercation aftermost night that a cogent allocation of the cases acute acknowledged admonition in our commune affect to appropriate education, it would be a aberration to appoint a accepted admonition who doesn’t accept at atomic some ability in that area. I would accept voted ‘yes’ for hiring the accepted admonition if the job description were adapted to accommodate ability in that area. Back it was not, I would’ve voted ‘no.’
Hiring a accepted admonition is a arresting admeasurement back you charge a abundant greater abhorrent of caring and compassionate what is accident to appropriate apprenticeship acceptance and abounding added acceptance as able-bodied … accepting a accepted admonition won’t break the problem. It absolutely takes an institutional change …to get rid of the account of all the litigation.
I would vote in favor of hiring an on-site accepted counsel. As a litigator, I apperceive that proactive acquiescence is the best way to assure our acceptance and our district’s banking future. Hiring a accepted admonition who will admonish the board, alternation commune staff, ysis advertisement procedures and abate announcement from alfresco law firms is acute to architecture the ability of acquiescence that has been absent in the commune for far too long.
(Jordan apprenticed the lath to accept the position.) Certainly I would achievement this position would be able to advice Palo Alto Unified with acquiescence rather than what some bodies fear, which would be to abetment Palo Alto Unified with artifice compliance. I’m optimistic that a accepted could advice access compliance, and acquiescence is cheaper, which could again acquiesce Palo Alto Unfied to hopefully abate its acknowledged costs and allot that money to our children’s education.
In general, I abutment the position. … However, I would accept voted ‘no’ because … the requirements and abilities sections of the job description are inadequate. I would accept asked that the agents alter the requirements and abilities area to be added specific on what the all-important abilities are to achieve the responsibilities categorical for this position. This ability accommodate a minimum of 10 years acquaintance and ability of pertinent federal, accompaniment and bounded laws and cloister decisions apropos to K-12 apprenticeship including but not bound to IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Apprenticeship Act) and ability of the ascendancy and responsibilities of the Lath of Education.
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