On January 5, 2012, it was announced that Governor Cuomo “signed legislation this week that requires state and local governments to post materials online before a meeting . . .”
Because of this, issues of transparency in government have become much less opaque. In fact, they are quickly approaching clarity. This means that John Q. Public no longer has any reason to say, “I didn’t know!” All knowledge is available to us without having to leave our homes.
For the followers of the Rochester City School district this is a huge advance. Simply go to the district website, click on BoardDocs located on the right hand side of the page, and access to information presented at Board meetings is there for viewing.
Of current interest are the proposed dates for 2012-13 Budget Deliberation Sessions and Public Hearings. With the new legislation the community should not only have access to the proposed budget when the Board receives it but we should also be able to question and receive answers to our questions publicly.
This greatly increases the accountability of the Board while increasing the responsibility of the community to provide input into the process before decisions are made.
Any question or concern a citizen or Board member may have should be available publicly along with the subsequent answers to those questions and concerns. This would eliminate any “surprises” and ill will. Board members will no longer have to bear the burden of ownership for decisions that can now be made with community input.
The onus will be on the community to become actively involved in the workings of public entities and to hold elected officials accountable for their role in the decision making process. Technology has opened the doors and now it is our responsibility to walk into the house and take our rightful place at the table.
This is a huge step forward that every citizen must take in the movement to create concrete, positive, and sustainable change in the system of education. We now have the opportunity and the responsibility to be the people.
Join the Movement to Save Our Children!