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Putting Off the Ritz

[Cue the Apocalyptic Music]

When the House Education Committee voted this past week 8-3 to allow the State Board of Education (SBE) to choose its own Chair rather than have Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz automatically chair the meetings you would have sworn the world was coming to an end.

The dead were rising from the grave. Human sacrifice was taking place. Dogs and cats were living together and not to mention the mass hysteria! And now that we’ve had the histrionic display courtesy of Ghostbusters, let’s look at what “power” Glenda is “losing”.

  • She would lose her power to call special meetings, cancel meetings or convene executive sessions.
  • She would lose her power to set agenda items, including those suggested by other board members.
  • She won’t be able to designate board members to committees.
  • She couldn’t conduct meetings as she saw fit, provided she gave board members ample opportunity to participate.

These all stem from the SBE Rules, which you can read here.

Now here is what power Glenda would gain, if she was no longer chair…

  • She could call special meetings, as long as two other Board members joined her.
  • She could block the cancellation of a meeting, as long as she was joined by at least two other board members.
  • She could convene executive sessions, as long as she was joined by two other board members.
  • She could add items to the agenda, as long as they were submitted in writing in a timely manner.

So what “power” is Glenda really losing here, just the power to be difficult. It seems to me that she gets to keep all her other powers as longs as she works and plays well with others.

Of course if she could do that, we wouldn’t be where we are today.