By Derek Nesbitt
The Lansing Star
LANSING – – Lansing School Board candidates expressed concern this week about board member Amy Hodgin’s Sept. 18 comment that the meetings were “a waste of time and money.”
Candidate Joy Gleason said there are enough issues within the school district that could have been addressed.
“If there was nothing else on the agenda, perhaps they could have used that time to find out how they can more effectively work to have legislation move in their favor,” Gleason said.
Gleason said the board could have discussed subjects such as graduation rates, early childhood education, Lansing School Board image issues and a pre-K program that’s currently available to all citizens of Lansing.
“Having an agenda is a communication tool, so if there are parties that may not normally attend board meetings but they see an issue on the agenda that’s attractive to them, then they might show up for that,” Gleason said.
Candidate Bryan Beverly said agendas are important to keep the board meeting focused, keep student achievement, community collaboration and resource allocation at the forefront.
“If there is frustration about not having an agenda, the way you address that is continue to have an agenda that is focused on district priorities,” Beverly said.
In remarks to the comment made by Hodgin, who complained at the Sept. 18 board meeting that not enough was on the agenda to make the meeting worthwhile, Beverly stated that in order to move forward with any meeting and the greater mission of the board, an agenda is necessary.
Hodgin, along with other board members who attended the meeting, could not be reached for comment.
Beverly also stated that the Lansing School Board meetings are an excellent platform for community input and to strengthen community collaboration.
“I think there are members of our community who take it upon themselves to speak to the board during those meetings and voice their concerns as well as their successes regarding the district,” Beverly said.
Lansing resident Asia Jones, 20, a junior at Western Michigan University who has a younger sister attending the Lansing school district, said there aren’t enough citizens and parents involved in the school district and meetings.
“If we could get our community more active and involved in the school district and attending the school board meetings, we could possibly help to avoid certain comments as well as give suggestions about future agendas,” Jones said.