I’ve been wondering this for a while: Where are the School Building Committee meeting minutes and agendas?
Considering all the controversy surrounding school building projects in Bridgeport these days, it seems like a no brainer that the public should have easy access to the School Building Committee meeting minutes.
Come to find out, up until recently, School Building Committee minutes were accessible. In fact, they used to be located on Bridgeport’s Board of Education website.
That changed—and so did many other things—when Chairwoman Sauda Baraka took control of the board.
I actually found this out by chance after looking through emails I requested as a part of a recent Freedom of Information Act request.
In an email to Superintendent Rabinowitz, Baraka requested that the School Building Meeting minutes and agendas be removed from the board’s website, writing it “was not approved by the BBOE.”
The email, dated March 8, was in response to the School Building Committee forwarding completed meeting minutes to superintendent’s office to be placed on the school district’s website.
Here is the full text of the email:
On Mar 8, 2014, at 4:24 PM, “Baraka, Sauda” <[email protected]> wrote:
This is a city committee and their agendas and minutes should be on their website. This was not approved by the BBOE for these agenda or minutes from these meetings to be posted on our website. There is a chain of command for how BBOE business conducted and they did not follow procedure. Please tell Mr. Wallack, Mr. Andrade to remove these items immediately from our website.
Sauda Efia Baraka, Chair
While, she’s technically correct, the School Building Committee is a city committee, doesn’t it make sense to have meeting minutes in a place that’s accessible to parents? Since these meeting are about schools? What better place for these minutes then on the board website?
Of course, that logic (or any) doesn’t fly with Baraka, who seems more interested in the politics of the matter rather than making sure information is accessible to the public.
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