In the wake of authorizing more than 300 layoff notices and looking for other ways to cut their budget by $25 million, Modesto City School board members wisely recognized that it would be insensitive and inappropriate to spend up to $25,000 for a facilitator to help the seven of them update their governance handbook and develop a "team" attitude.
That was one of the items on Monday's agenda. Fortunately, though, even the board members who wanted a group discussion quickly distanced themselves from that costly price tag.
Instead, trustees suggested that perhaps someone with expertise and a sense of community spirit will offer their services for free — or at a very low cost.
So, consider this a "help wanted" ad for such a group facilitator. Anyone with experience and interest can contact either Superintendent Arturo Flores or board President Kim Spina through the district office, 576-4011.
Although they face several more urgent issues at the moment, the board in fact should review and update the governance handbook that was developed in 2008.
Specifically, we encourage them to eliminate any policies and practices that limit their access to the information essential to making good decisions, or to protocols that in any way discourage questions and open discussion of tough issues. And, since Flores has been on the job for nearly three years, it's time to get rid of the "board/new superintendent transition agreement."
A governance workshop could be useful to the board, and several members prefer a facilitator rather than just talking things out on their own.
Either way is fine — as long as this workshop is held in open session, as required under the Brown Act.