Ann Arbor Public Schools committee of the whole meeting (Jan. 23, 2013): At the board’s committee of the whole (COTW) meeting last week, trustees received an update on the district’s strategic plan from the executive team and other district administrators. Trustees also discussed reviewing the district’s contracting policy.
While trustees received a comprehensive update on the eight points of the strategic plan, they focused their attention on aspects of international standards, personalized learning, and how best to market the district. President Deb Mexicotte argued that the district needed to co-opt the “language of the rhetoric” used by Lansing and demonstrate how the district is a better choice for students than the alternatives.
After hearing from six union-friendly members of the public during public commentary, trustees spent a significant amount of time discussing how, if at all, they wanted to change the district’s contracting policy. Currently, the board tends to accept the lowest qualified bid. But other factors discussed at the meeting included prevailing wages, historically underutilized businesses (HUB), and local contractors.
The conversation led to the creation of an ad-hoc committee to gather more of the information the trustees felt they needed before they could alter the contracting policy. Members of the committee were not yet appointed at the meeting.