I won't be able to attend tonight's meeting but here is what I told the Board:
"I will write you a longer message about my philosophical objections to TFA in another e-mail. This is just about rejecting the motion tonight.
I ask you to reject the TFA proposal tonight for a couple of reasons, very basic reasons.
1) We don't have a dedicated revenue stream to sustain this. With all due respect, you have absolutely no business committing to another initiative when the district just put its hand out for yet another levy. If we have no money, we have no money.
Yes, I know there is some mysterious donor out there but that is for a limited time. After that, what then? We can't be funding programs on a wish and a prayer. That is NOT good governance. If our district (and our nation's economy) rights itself, the issue of TFA can be revisited. But we should NOT be going down this road with no money to sustain it.
2) public engagement. You can imagine my surprise when I saw on the item under Public Engagement, the public engagement that TFA has done. I'm sorry but I don't care who TFA has talked to (but not surprisingly, no parents). I want to know who STAFF talked to for this decision. The public engagement piece is about staff, not some outside entity. As such, there was NO public engagement and this item should be turned back on that basis.
There is a process for presenting these items before you. This is a proposal that will affect hundreds of our students and their families. To not have put the word out about what it is and what it means is wrong. Why staff did not follow the process is moot at this point. They simply didn't.
You have a responsibility to hold them accountable to a process and I hope you do. If not, you have shown parents/community that decisions can be made AND then there is public engagement in the form of an announcement. If not, you have shown staff that you don't care about the process and will okay anything.
You HAVE to show staff and parent/community that you expect the process to be followed every single time.
You have to know when to say no."
If the Board doesn't hold the line here, then we know they won't ever do it. The TFA proposal is not an emergency or even a real need. So there should be no allowance for skirting what the process is. The two weeks between introduction and action are NOT enough.
I have no idea why the Seattle Council PTSA knew about this and felt no need to tell parents. But that doesn't negate the Board's duty to parents and community. They should not accept an item that has not been properly vetted and that includes public engagement.