Where Is Transparency?

The SBCC Board appears to have forgotten its own policies and stated mission in its current rush to drastically increase fees for selected classes. This unwelcome change is just a forerunner of huge increases in fees for all Adult Ed classes.

Ironically, copies of SBCC District policies have been circulating around Adult Ed classes recently. For example: “The Board is the ultimate decision-maker in those areas assigned to it by state and federal laws and regulations. … Except for unforeseeable emergency situations, the Board shall not take any action on matters subject to this policy until the appropriate constituent group or groups have been provided the opportunity to participate.”

At the December 2009 Community Forum held at Wake Center, the board conducted a workshop to elicit ideas on how to solve the problem of an annual financial shortfall of $500,000. Participants gladly came up with ideas, dividing into small groups and brainstorming for close to an hour. Next, group leaders presented these solutions to the entire forum. There was enthusiasm and hope that together, we had created solutions to this funding shortfall.

At the end of that forum, the board specifically and publicly promised:

• there would be complete transparency in all matters, including financial;

• they would publish on the SBCC Web site all the ideas elicited at that meeting;

• they would begin taking action on selected funding and moneymaking strategies from the forum.

None of this has been done. Instead, they now propose large fee increases for classes—amounts that are many times greater than existing fees.

We request that they fulfill their promise, that they examine the solutions proposed in the Community Forum and take action on the most workable ideas, all in a manner that is completely transparent to the community. — Ann Crosby

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