BISD board president works to limit access

Woodrow Reece

 

Beaumont Independent School District’s board of trustees will be limited in their ability to serve the public who elected them when new changes in board policy take effect in the coming months. Among the changes in the works by the group include requiring approval from board of trustees president Woodrow Reece to add any item to the board’s work agenda, limiting trustee questions of topics to two, and requiring access to district-compiled information to only be open to trustees if Reece OKs the request. 

Trustee Tom Neild said the changes only inhibit his ability to serve the constituents who elected him into office, and he is unhappy that all discussion of the revisions to local policy has occurred outside public scrutiny. 

According to the latest working policy, “Agendas for the Board meetings in Beaumont ISD are prepared by the Superintendent with consultation from the Board President. Three Trustees may request that an item be placed on the agenda. The Board President must be one of the three Trustees making the request.” 

In addition, board trustees will be meeting three days prior to called meetings to finalize an agenda. “During the Agenda Review workshops, the Board President will limit each Board member to two questions or five minutes to ask questions regarding the topic at hand,” the reformed policy states. “The Board President will decide whether additional questions will be allowed,” with the added stipulation that, “The Superintendent may pull agenda items at any time.” 

“The general public has no idea what it is, or why, or what for,” Neild said. “That’s why you’re supposed to have public meetings to discuss this type of thing.” 

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