Re-8 board aims to find a unified voice

Education Board members speaking as one on difficult topics

Steve Smith
ssmith@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 1/18/21

The Weld Re-8 School District board of education began the process of overhauling its governance procedures during a virtual workshop session on Jan. 14.  Final approval is due Thursday, Jan. 28. …

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Re-8 board aims to find a unified voice

Education Board members speaking as one on difficult topics

Posted

The Weld Re-8 School District board of education began the process of overhauling its governance procedures during a virtual workshop session on Jan. 14. 

Final approval is due Thursday, Jan. 28.

One area that came under more scrutiny than the others was that of presenting a unified voice in the community after the board makes a decision. Board member Cody LeBlanc said there were certain decisions he couldn’t support.

“I understand not showing divisiveness,” he said. “Say we approve a new curriculum for sex education for the high school where it teaches abortion as a form of birth control. There is not one ounce of me that can support that in public. I have to stand true to my principles.”

“Voting ‘no’ is standing up to your principals,” said board member Michelle Bettger. “I understand you vote the way you want to vote. But it’s not like you should be saying, ‘I can’t believe the board voted that way.’”

Board President Susan K. Browne quoted from the Colorado Association of School Boards that it was a “duty as board members to support decisions.”

“We all understand my position with CASB,” LeBlanc said. “What they say isn’t law. I want (this governance policy) worded differently.”

“Like Susan read, the board members should have one voice,” said board member Matthew Adame. “We’re not all going to agree,” Bettger said. “Do you think something along the lines of ‘honoring’ a decision would work? That shows we work together and honor the vote at the end of the night.”

It started when Bettger suggested that directors should attend an entire, regular meeting and not just a closed-door executive session.

“I agree. I’ve done that before,” LeBlanc said. “All decisions are important, and executive sessions are extremely important. It’s important for the board to be on the same page.”

LeBlanc, Adame and Re-8 Superintendent Alan Kaylor weren’t sure if such a rule was legally possible.

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