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Who We Are »
Betsy Combier

Help Us to Continue to Help Others »

The E-Accountability Foundation announces the

'A for Accountability' Award

to those who are willing to whistleblow unjust, misleading, or false actions and claims of the politico-educational complex in order to bring about educational reform in favor of children of all races, intellectual ability and economic status. They ask questions that need to be asked, such as "where is the money?" and "Why does it have to be this way?" and they never give up. These people have withstood adversity and have held those who seem not to believe in honesty, integrity and compassion accountable for their actions. The winners of our "A" work to expose wrong-doing not for themselves, but for others - total strangers - for the "Greater Good"of the community and, by their actions, exemplify courage and self-less passion. They are parent advocates. We salute you.

Winners of the "A":

Johnnie Mae Allen
David Possner
Dee Alpert
Aaron Carr
Harris Lirtzman
Hipolito Colon
Larry Fisher
The Giraffe Project and Giraffe Heroes' Program
Jimmy Kilpatrick and George Scott
Zach Kopplin
Matthew LaClair
Wangari Maathai
Erich Martel
Steve Orel, in memoriam, Interversity, and The World of Opportunity
Marla Ruzicka, in Memoriam
Nancy Swan
Bob Witanek
Peyton Wolcott
[ More Details » ]
Grievances Written By Parents are Garbage: the Story of La Guardia High School
The issue: The PA and SLT at La Guardia High School for the Performing Arts are closed to "outsiders" who may want to be involved. Notices to meetings are sent to about 10% of the parent body, and these notices are not timely. The PA, SLT, and School administration are not complying with the Chancellors Regulations for parent involvement or accountability, and are violating IDEA, Special Education Law. Chad Vignola dismissed all claims.
           by Betsy Combier

I, former Vice President of the La Guardia High School PA, provide the grievance below in order to show how the Department of Education in New York City provides no respite from problems. The NYC DOE, and in particular Chancellor Joel Klein and his Chief Counsel Chad Vignola answered the grievance more than 2 weeks after the deadline, then dismissed all claims as if they were the defendant, judge and jury, which they are. There is no accountability for anything within the DOE, because they answer to no one except themselves. Therefore, whatever they say becomes the Truth, and whoever says otherwise becomes a false witness.

The E-Accountability Foundation
New York, NY 10021

Chancellor Joel Klein August 5, 2003
New York City Department of Education


Dear Chancellor Klein:

This email requires your earliest response, for publication on the website under the heading "Chancellor Klein and the Implementation of the Policy of Parent Involvement in NYC Public Schools." We have followed the A-660s and the process outlined therein concerning Grievances, and we respectfully question the validity of the process, due to the fact that the grievance we filed against the La Guardia High School elections held last spring has, to date not been resolved, and you, Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, have now not complied with your own regulations.
As you know, The E-Accountability Foundation has supported you in your reform of our public schools in New York City. We have researched the implementation of Department of Education policy for the past year, and we have deferred judgement of any kind until we could see the new structure in place, hoping that indeed we would see a new, transparent, accountable system with you, an esteemed lawyer, at its' helm. We are non-partisan, we have no political agenda to go after anyone, and we simply want to expose wrong-doing – we mean non-compliance with the rules, regulations and laws outlined in New York State Education Law, School Leadership Team regulations, and the A-660s – in order to make you and all public servants accountable for your and their actions. We, involved parents, teachers, administrators, fed up with the current system and talking about what needs to be changed, are already in State and Federal Court. More lawsuits are on the way, thus the troubling questions we have and will continue to ask will, we believe, indeed be answered albeit in a forum we would not pick unless forced to. We have no desire to start or pursue legal action, but it is an unfortunate reality that misinformation, misallocation of services and resources, and slanderous/libelous statements are being made by your personnel against parents, and this must stop. Those already compromised by your organization must get relief, as you, a lawyer, and I, a journalist and paralegal/advocate are aware.
Since we started looking into situations involving parents and DOE personnel we have been given information outlining missing Title 1 money from Manhattan High Schools under Superintendant Sawyer, grievances never answered in Districts 8, 11, and 3, Doreen Conwell's inappropriate actions concerning the Martin Luther King Jr. High School PA, and we have spent two days talking with Kevin Clement, who used to work with Diana Lam in Providence Rhode Island. We asked questions about the investigation into the dumping of High School records onto the street at Amsterdam and 65th Street in March, 2002, and we have asked why even Stuyvesant High School has pushed-out special education children after illegally de-certifying them. We are left with unanswered and troubling questions, as people in your organization have, to date, refused to reply to our always respectful questions. We will offer the public this information on, and perhaps the publicity surrounding the serious and unanswered questions will bring resolution or, at least, some answers. We are presenting the La Guardia High School Grievance as an example of your interest in having parents involved in the school their child or children attend – or, alternatively, you are not interested in this - as the bottom line at La Guardia is, we allege, that there is no parent involvement outside of a small select group.
The Grievance we filed details the fact that there have been no elections, up until The-E-Accountability Foundation started working to change the Bylaws, for the PA Executive Board and SLT members at La Guardia High School. The election process was not even included in the Bylaws. I, as 1st Vice-President of the PA for the 2002-2003 school year, documented this fact as well as the appointment of officers, and statements by Charles Thompson, PA Co-President, that "this is the way La Guardia High School works". Mr. Sawyer and Doreen Conwell never did anything to bring the La Guardia PA Bylaws into compliance with the Regulations, and Doreen did speak to me in an inappropriate way for making this information available to the parents at La Guardia. Charles and several other members of the PA Executive Board, SLT, and La Guardia Administration inappropriately verbally attacked me at PA meetings for trying to change the Bylaws to comply with the A-660s, and for this reason the Grievance has only my signature on it although many parents are horrified by his actions. He touted his personal friendship with Mr. Sawyer all year, and was indeed the guest of honor at Mr. Sawyer's going-away party held on June 13, 2003. Mr. Sawyer met with me, Charles, Co-President Jane Lewis, Mr. Mike Racanelli, and Doreen Conwell in June, and I told him that there were no notices sent out for the elections of May 6, 2003 at La Guardia. Charles and Jane never said, to their credit, that there were. Jane, at this meeting, told Mr. Sawyer that indeed there were NO notices mailed out at all. But Doreen said that there were, and Mr. Sawyer immediately said that he would believe Doreen over me, Charles, and Jane. I then asked Doreen to give me a copy of the notices, and I gave her two days to supply me with them. She never did. I know how easy it is to print out a flyer and say that this was given to all parents before the elections, but no one has given us any flyers about the elections to date...because there were none. An election that is not noticed to all parents is not a valid election, therefore I am asking that you call for a new election in October, after proper notices have been mailed out, bios of parents running have been sent, and proper procedures have been followed.
I met with Kim Bruno, Principal of La Guardia High School on July 23, 2003 about the Grievance, as required in the A-660s. She told E-Accountability that she did not want to ever hear another word about the PA or SLT Bylaws, there is nothing she can do with anything the PA or SLT members do because Mr. Sawyer denied the Grievance and therefore our request to invalidate the elections was a moot point. She added, "What are the A-660s, or Chancellor's Regulations anyway? I've never heard of them."We then called Lucille Swarns' office several times, and finally reached her on Thursday, July 31, 2003. She told me that she had nothing to do with PAs, and she was only instructional support. Ms. Swarns suggested that I speak with Ms.Renscher, Region 10 Parent Coordinator, Victor Rodriguez, or Jean Desravines. I called Ms. Renscher on Thursday, Friday, Monday, and Tuesday, but her message machine was full, so no one could leave any messages. Jean Desravines never has returned my call, and I spoke with Mr. Rodriguez, who told me that he had no idea what to do and would get back to me.
However, it is you, Chancellor, who is accountable under the current Chancellor's Regulations A-660 dated 11/14/02. We request your response immediately, so that we may post your decision on the website for all parents to see. We also want to inform you that one of the parents who is still on the Executive Board, was one of the parents who told parents to go away and never come back, and is also on the SLT which closed its' doors to any attendance by non-members, has just been hired as the La Guardia High School Parent Coordinator. Her position on the PA Executive Board will be vacated now, as will her place on the SLT. Do you support the current PA, which we are alleging were self-appointed, as they choose new parents for these two positions from their already assembled small group? This increases the possibility that the current PA and SLT members of La Guardia High School are not interested in involvement of all parents at the school .
Are you?


Betsy Combier
Cc: Ms. Lucille Swarns
Ms. Kim Bruno
Mr. Victor Rodriguez
Mr. Jean Desravines

The E-Accountability Foundation
Betsy Combier, President


May 26, 2003
Chancellor Joel Klein
Lucille Swarns

Dear Chancellor Klein and Region 10 Superintendant Lucille Swarns:

We are writing this letter to ask that you take immediate action to rectify non-involvement of parents at La Guardia High School by invalidating the elections for PA Executive Board and SLT members on May 6, 2003 due to the fact that written notices were not sent out to all parents at the school concerning the date and time of the election and the nominees. Therefore, those parents who have been PA and SLT officers gave themselves an unfair and illegal advantage to be elected and we respectfully ask that you do not support this process. We believe that if you allow the elections which took place to stand, you cannot at the same time support "parent involvement", because at La Guardia High School there is wide-spread sabotage of anyone who acts to unseat the "powers that be", and limited communication with parents outside of the "select few" who have set up their positions at the school. We ask that you mandate a new election of officers for the PA Executive Board and School Leadership Team in the Fall, with all the election procedures for the sending out of notices, and all the procedures for the nominating committee clearly followed. We also must bring to your attention the lack of responsiveness and the inappropriate actions taken by members of the Manhattan Superintendant's office which have, we allege, allowed the regulations to be violated for the past two years (perhaps before this as well).
Ms Swarns asked me to wait until next year to grieve this process, and while I am very willing to accept and support what the new Region 10 Superintendant requests if her assessment provides the optimum resolution to the problem at hand, I feel in this case I must file this "online complaint" now for several reasons: (1) the A-660s state that a grievance may be sent to you within 30 days, therefore we are complying with this deadline even though this is not a "normal" grievance for the reasons listed below; (2) we are presenting the information to you because we have already tried to approach Mr. Sawyer, Mr. Racanelli and Ms Doreen Conwell with limited success, and many of the problems outlined below are a direct result of non-responsiveness on their part; (3) I have filed a grievance in the past with very serious questions of process, harassment, and discrimination, as well as fiscal mis-management (Booker T. Washington MS 54, June 25, 2001), with the result that no one at the Board of Education, District 3 School Board, Superintendant's office, NY State Department of Education, NY State Assembly, NY State Senate, UPA, Mayor's office, Public Advocate, NYC Council and NY State Education Department bothered to answer my questions despite being mandated by laws of this city and state to do so. I researched other grievances and found that city-wide, these forms of complaints are being ignored by the BOE and now the DOE. I filed another grievance against DJ Sheppard in the District 3 office for stopping the SLT election last June, illegally, in my opinion, and against Elliott Levy for holding back the return of our PTA check from Barnes & Noble for $13,783.77 and I have, as yet, heard nothing in response about that. In addition, I have been slandered, harassed, and threatened, and my children have been hurt physically, emotionally and academically; (4) I and all the other parents I have spoken to believe, as a result, that grievances as outlined in the A-660s are useless. We are, therefore, thinking "outside the box" and have designed a new, "online" complaint, which this letter is, to provide you with information about a problem which you can, in your positions as Chancellor and Region 10 Superintendant, "fix". Your actions one way or another will be posted on websites concerned with your ability to support what you say you believe in. This is, in other words, accountability, transparency, open government, and parent involvement all rolled into one.
Almost two years ago I saw that something new was needed to establish true accountability for problems in our city schools, and was fortunate to meet many other parents who felt the same way. We have established an internet connection which will, we believe, empower us and will change the way the Department of Education, UFT, and politicians do business by informing the public what actions were taken and who never responded, online. The E-Accountability Foundation will do that, and this letter to both of you is one of many you will be receiving online as a complaint about DOE personnel and/or PA/PTA/SLT members who are not complying with the rules and regulations. The Chancellor's Regulations - A-660s - state that a parent may grieve any action and receive no retaliation, (Section 1.E.1.h&i) but I have experienced exactly the opposite. So, this is an online report which will inform you of the actions of parents and DOE personnel in the Superintendant's office of the Manhattan High Schools which are inappropriate, and which necessitate your response. We are, in our opinion, helping you establish parent involvement and accountability, and we will hold you accountable for your actions to resolve the problems described below; (5) We believe that there is every reason to support "fixing" the problem now, rather than in the Fall, when the maximum amount of damage may occur to hurt the fundraising efforts and community building of the parents. Again, this is what happened at Booker T., and we need to avoid this destruction and disarray! We are, therefore asking that you help us start afresh in the Fall with new elections fully noticed to all parents at La Guardia HS.
Our disclaimer: our purpose in writing this letter is to help you in your efforts to reform the New York public school system, which we firmly support. We are very aware of the political ties which place our children last, not first, in importance, and we want to assist you in disengaging the education and safety of our youth from these forces so that you can truly put "children first". We are dedicated to establishing accountability and parent involvement in this city, and we see that we must include you as well as those working in other positions in the DOE, Mayor's office, Legislature, etc., in order to be a credible and legitimate voice in creating a data base of "accountable action". Our motives in giving you information about how your own personnel have responded to problems and when they, your employees, were the problem, is not malicious in any way, as we want you to succeed in your work. We are not trying to "get" anyone. We feel that if you do not have accurate information about who is doing what to whom, your actions for educational reform will not have any credibility or legitimacy among your constituents- the parents and children in our New York City schools- and your efforts will ultimately fail. You must succeed, and to do that you must hear the parents and children as well as the teachers and Principals. Parents and children are not always wrong, hostile, belligerant, or disruptive. This all begs the question, "what do you mean by 'parent involvement?'" We have been told for several months that your "Children First" agenda supports involvement of parents in the public schools, thus protecting our right to be part of the events, fundraising, and PAs/SLTs in our children's schools. Are we correct? If this statement is correct, what do you do when this right to be involved and informed is denied us, [parents] and we give you proof of this?
As you know from previous correspondence, the La Guardia PA Bylaws and SLT Bylaws have been out of compliance with the Chancellor's Regulations, the Green book, and Open Government Laws. This letter follows the email to the Chancellor on May 8 concerning the CPAC meeting at Tweed Courthouse, and addresses the reference I made to La Guardia High School. I am, in this follow-up letter, describing the actions of a pre-selected few who are in control of the PA and SLT at La Guardia, and who not only make up rules and regulations as they go, but force parents to turn away from involvement due to the inappropriate actions and words which are used by this group. "They" have established illegal election and nominating procedures which must be stopped, and the elections invalidated. I am the parent of four children, and I have been elected to many positions on PAs and PTAs as well as SLTs over the past few years. [EXHIBIT 1] In light of the fact that my dad was Assistant Attorney General of the State of New York, and that I am a writer/journalist with a huge sense of justice and dedication to doing what the rules, regulations and Laws mandate, I have never joined a clique to railroad through anything which I believe violates a Law, or compromises any individual's rights. I also support the processes of consensus, democratic voting, and free speech, as long as the words are not defamatory or in any way abusive. Additionally, we have studied the US Constitution as well as Internet Law and Policy, and we assert that it is our right and responsibility to inform all taxpayers of any violations of the rules, regulations, Laws and/or misallocation of public funds. Freedom of information is, indeed, the foundation of a democratic government.
It is not difficult to understand that those "select few" who have been involved in maintaining the status quo and positions of power attack anyone who tries to alter the system or to make them powerless. The danger of exposure for previous wrong-doing is too great. We all know politicians who can, and do, lend their legislative influence to support those who have supported them, making any "whistleblowing" all that much harder. We have also seen groups of parents violate rules, regulations and the Law in order to harass and attack anyone who stands in their way, only to have the powers that be - DOE personnel included - go along with what "they" - these parents - say, because they are, or convince the administration that they are, the "majority". As "the majority" they allege that they can do anything they want, including violating every rule in the book. Parents outside of this group usually go away at the beginning of the school year, never to return to a PA/PTA meeting again. Surprisingly, this tactic works quite well, as Superintendants and DOE Parent Outreach representatives close their eyes or actively intervene to help this "majority" stay in power, irrespective of what they have done or plan to do for the kids in the school. "Majority rule", however achieved, is the road to power and success in our New York City schools. The "majority" must do two things to assure their power: one is to control the information which goes out to the parents; the second is to demonize, threaten, scare away or in some way marginalize anyone who might endanger the status quo and/or the "majority's" position in it. We have all heard the abusive comments and have seen the retaliatory actions which follow any exposure of illegal, or other inappropriate actions, such as "I'll get you for this" and "You'll be sorry!" screamed both inside and outside the sandbox.
At La Guardia High School, those kinds of comments have been hurled at me as well as others who have stood up to the small group of La Guardia parents who, we allege, have denied equal representation to all parents of students in the school. The group has actively assured that only a select few have a right to be heard. For the past several years the La Guardia Parents Association and School Leadership Team have 'elected' officers by "acclamation" and by appointment; there have been no elections by paper ballot, and there has been no nominating committee actively seeking parents for the various positions on the Executive Board and SLT. A "select" few have taken the positions on the PA, Academic and Conservatory Committees, and School Leadership Teams, and have maintained their positions by sending few, if any, notices out to the general membership about meetings and events in the school, barring parents from meetings if they happen to show up, changing minutes and emails to tell everyone what "they" want, rather than what actually happened, and making inappropriate comments or harassing remarks to anyone who suggests a different approach.
The Manhattan High School Superintendant's office did not intervene to change this irregular application of the rules and regulations. I, Co-Vice-President of the PA, called Mr. Sawyer approximately 13 times over the past year to ask for a meeting about this unfortunate situation. He has never returned my telephone calls. Instead, Ms. Doreen Conwell called me, and her last conversation with me was so full of inappropriate comments, taunts and deprecating remarks from her to me for bringing up the PA Bylaws and other issues at all that I have notified my lawyer, who will get my record of the conversation. Ms. Conwell also accused me of cancelling the one meeting we scheduled to go over the changes in the Bylaws, and had Ms. Gwen Hopkins tell Mr. Racanelli and Mr. John Norris that I had cancelled the meeting, when indeed she had scheduled it for the one day I and a co-worker were unavailable. I was told that it was my word against the Department of Education, and my word was suspect. As Doreen told me, she's "heard all about me". I came back with the point that if I was the one who wanted to bring everyone together for a meeting about the Bylaws, why would I just cancel any meeting? So the meeting took place, but not before I was told that my opinion did not count for anything, was not credible, legitimate, or valid. May I suggest that this practice stop?
As Doreen and the Superintendant's office never bothered to bring the Bylaws into compliance with the A-660s, the small group which self-appointed each other were able to remain firmly in control of all parent information. Ms. Conwell's justification that she never saw the Bylaws is untrue, according to our Co-President last year, and her job is, according to the Chancellor's Regulations, to make sure that the Bylaws are in compliance with the regulations. Over the past year I was told countless times by Charles Thompson and Jane Lewis, the Co-Presidents of the PA, that there had never been a paper ballot, there had never been a nominating committee with anyone other than senior parents on the committee , etc, because, they asserted, the Superintendant's office had allowed it, and it was "done this way under Paul Saronson". This of course makes it "ok", according to Charles, Jane and the others who are hanging onto the status quo. When I needed a copy of the PA Bylaws, I called Bill Stevens, who told me that he did not have a copy. I called Kim Bruno's office and was faxed Bylaws which had been written two years earlier, and subsequently changed. Her Assistant told me that Charles Thompson told her to send me the out-of-date version. Then, at the PA meeting that evening, I was ridiculed by Charles, Jane, and many others. I and other parents in the school who want to be involved and to have the election procedures established in compliance with the A-660s, then became the "bad guys", the parents who do not go along with "the plan", the "troublemakers", even though we are right, the rules and regulations are being violated.
My desire to increase parent involvement by changing the control of this false "majority" has led to harassment and verbal abuse of me and anyone associated or allied with me. I am very saddened by this, but will continue to stand up for parent involvement, adherence to the rules and Laws of our City/State, fairness, and respectful discussion of problems. It is your responsibility to change the Department of Education personnel who deride anyone attempting to maintain a positive working relationship between parents and administrators, and, as I have previously stated, I - and many other parents - will, indeed, hold you accountable for your actions, or non-responsiveness. Under the term "accountability" no response is an accountable action.

We are asking for your invalidation of the May 6, 2003 PA/SLT election at La Guardia High School based upon the following:

1.Continuous abuse of the rules, regulations and procedures by current members of the PA and SLT including unfair elections held without timely or proper notices to the general membership. None of the general PA meetings this year, 2002-2003 had timely and proper written notice sent to all parents, as required by the Bylaws. I sent to you emails [EXHIBITS 2, 3] and subsequently, thanks to the intervention of Ms. Swarns, was able to obtain a new set of Bylaws in compliance with the Chancellor's Regulations for elections of PA and SLT members, but not before being being harassed for my efforts by the Co-Presidents (PA Bylaws), by Mr. Bill Stevens, Assistant Principal (SLT Bylaws), and by Ms. Doreen Conwell (Manhattan Superintendant's office), and seeing the very same Bylaws violated a few days later (see EXHIBIT 11 below). After the Bylaws were voted in on April 29, I discovered by calling many parents that no written notices were sent out to all the parents at the school with information about the May 6 election. The result is the election and re-electon of a select few, most of whom have deliberately kept the control of PA expenditures, the CEP, and PA affairs secret or within their control. The La Guardia PA belongs to all the parents who have children in the building, DOESN'T IT? There was no outreach by the nominating committee, leaving only one position in contention at the PA election: the position of Vice-President, and the position I was running for re-election. The entire slate was ready to be appointed, because there was no notice sent out, and no "new" people coming forward who had not been involved previously. A parent received a call telling her "they" wanted her on the SLT, and she was elected. It is my opinion that "they" wanted me to pull out of the election so that "they" could have a vote by ACCLAMATION. I decided that I would not pull out just to document the process. This is how democracy and parent involvement fails, and this is why you must invalidate the election. In light of the fact that people may say I am making this request in order to get elected, I will not run again for office on the PA Executive Board. I feel that I have been attacked enough, and plan to work on a school newsletter similar to the one I wrote at Stuyvesant High School, in order to increase parent involvement at La Guardia. Charles and Jane told me this Fall that they would not "allow" me to write this newsletter at La Guardia, even though it was, and is, desperately needed.
In fact, there were no timely written notices sent to all the parents this year. After the April A&C meeting with a learning specialist who spoke about Special Education, a parent approached Kas Wilson, the parent who sends the emails to approximately 300 parents (there are 2500 students in the school) and asked her to send out more timely emails, as the meeting had been noticed only the night before. Kas started screaming at this parent, saying "shut up!!! I've had enough from you!" [EXHIBIT 4]. I was standing a few inches from the parent being screamed at, and I left the room with her. She and I were very upset, as were other parents who overheard this unfortunate outburst. According to the Department of Education website for the year 2000-2001, more than $58,000 was allocated for each special education student per year. This is odd, considering that there is only one resource room with one resource teacher. Why has this population of the La Guardia High School been denied their budgetary rights? Special education students have the same rights to a fair, equal, and free education as anyone else, am I not correct?
We have not seen the procedure, with paper ballots, sign-in sheets, etc., for several years at La Guardia. Indeed, those appointed to the PA Executive Board and elected by simple majority to the SLT have continuously denied other parents the right to even have an open discussion of the suggestions which have been made to the existing Bylaws. The Co-Presidents and parents on the Academic and Conservatory Committee have been making unilateral decisions about what can be discussed at their meetings, and even asked parents to leave the room when they had their meetings, an obvious violation of Open Government Laws according to parents aware of the statute and the Supreme Court Judge ( a parent member of the PA) they barred. I tried to have an open discussion of the PA and SLT Bylaws at a general PA meeting for four months; Co-Presidents Charles and Jane sabotaged me, humiliated me, and successfully stopped any discussions. Charles told everyone, "I feel very sorry for anyone who would ever vote for Betsy Combier for any position."
At the April PA meeting they inappropriately, as I have explained at length to John Norris, Mr. Racanelli, Doreen Conwell and Lucille Swarns, dismissed the work of 4 months' gathering suggestions for the Bylaws by myself and several other parents, and established their own, "new" committee to address the changes that needed to be made. They then put into the Bylaws the needed clauses about the election and nominating processes, but also added that the May 6 elections would be "BY ACCLAMATION"! I was shocked that the parents running for Co-PA Presidents for next year would write this statement in direct contradiction to the election guidelines. I emailed John Norris about this, and he agreed with my assessment:

Subj: RE: La Guardia HS: New Committee and Bylaws, violating election procedure
Date: 4/28/2003 5:11:50 PM Eastern Standard Time
To: So
Sent from the Internet (Details)

"Betsy -

In looking over both sets of suggested changes, I do see your point that the "new" committee suggested language seems to contradict itself regarding the election of officers. I assume that this was not meant to be, and that it was a mistake. I looked up "acclamation" in the dictionary (I was not familiar with this term before) and it is obviously an oral vote, or "an enthusiastic vote of approval without formal ballot", as defined in the American Heritage College Dictionary. Section 2 of the proposed bylaws that you emailed to me clearly claim that:

Section 2. Term of Office; Eligibility

The term of office will be from July 1 through June 30. Officers will be elected by acclamation or by a simple majority at the May PA meeting, for a one-year term beginning July 1. Eligibility for office is limited to parents, guardians or persons in parental relation to students currently enrolled at LaGuardia High School who are not employed at LaGuardia High School. In addition, signatories to checks issued by the PA may not be related to each other by blood or marriage.

Furthermore, Section 4.5 of the proposed bylaws clearly claim that:

4.5 Election and Use of Ballot:

¨ Voting will be by written ballot in accordance with Chancellor's
Regulation A-660.
¨ Names of candidates will appear on the ballot in alphabetical order under the title of the office for which they were nominated.
¨ Ballots will be printed with instructions in English and in other languages, whenever possible.
¨ A member of the administration will attend each election with a list of names of parents for the purposes of verification. Once a parent has been signed this verification sheet, s/he will receive a ballot.
¨ The elections will be scheduled at a time that encourages maximum PA
member participation. This will require at least one evening session.
¨ Ballots will be counted immediately following the election and in the
presence of the PA members.
¨ Ballots will be retained for six months by the Chair of the
Nominating Committee. If s/he will no longer be an eligible member after June 30, the ballots will be turned over to the incoming Secretary.

Thus, the use of ballots and the use of acclamation for electing executive board members as described in these proposed bylaws are contradictory . I'm sure that the PA general membership will understand this contradiction and make sure that the bylaw review committee removes the "acclamation" language from the final draft of the bylaws prior to vote by the general membership.

-John Norris

2. Unilateral and inappropriate decisions made by the Co-Presidents and a select few on the PA Executive Board and SLT without input from the general parent population. Last spring I was asked to be on the Executive Board by Co-President Charles Thompson, and I decided to work on change from the position of Co-Vice - President. Charles picked Jane Lewis to be Co-President with him, and as there was no nominating committee or notices sent out, we were "voted" in by a hand vote. In August, Charles called me to tell me that the Principal, Paul Saronson, had resigned. He added that he certainly did not want the new interim Principal to be given the permanent position, and had written Mr. Sawyer to that effect. I was very surprised that Charles had written such a letter without notifying the rest of the Board, and asked to see the letter. He told me that I would not see the letter, that he was the Co-President, and did whatever he thought was right. I said that it seemed to me to be inconsistent with the spirit of teamwork, especially for those of us new to the Executive Board at La Guardia. I was told by Charles that "this is how we do things at La Guardia High School."
On May 20 I received an email about an Executive Board meeting on May 22 about the Budget, and this meeting was not noticed to all parents, only a select few. At this meeting, I heard that we spent more than $27,000 in grants, and that the Co-President in charge of grants did not tell several teachers that the PA had voted to give them the grant they had asked for. The dates for the budget are April 2002 - May 2003, in violation of the A-660s and DOE budget guidelines. [EXHIBITS 5,6,7,8,9] I and several other parents volunteered to be on the budget committee, but were never informed about any meetings. Therefore, this Committee has worked all year with the money raised by the PA without the input of any "outside" parents. I am certainly not accusing anyone of anything, but the facts are that there is no transparency (see budget sheet attached below). The PA Treasurer lives in Staten Island, and has all of the PA financial statements and books in her home. There is no Assistant Treasurer, and there has been no audit of the PA books in the past two years.

"Subj: LaGuardia Executive Board Financial Meeting
Date: 5/20/2003 8:39:06 AM Eastern Standard Time
To: Undisclosed-Recipient:
Sent from the Internet (Details)

We'd like to invite the Entire Executive Board to a budget meeting this Thursday, May 22nd, at 6:00 PM in the principal's conference room.

We need to present a proposed budget to the parents at the June PA meeting and need to put our heads together to prepare this.

The Financial Committee has been meeting on this issue and they will be attending also.
If you have any questions, please contact Jane Lewis at or w 212 769 6285.

Then I received, as Co-Vice President, the following email asking me to vote on spending $900 for more shirts, over the weekend and before Monday morning. This shows that the general parent membership has no say in the PA and the process must be corrected by invalidating the election of the people who believe this method of voting for PA expenditures is right. It is not.

Subj: LaGuardia Executive Board EMAIL VOTE
Date: 5/3/2003 9:39:28 PM Eastern Standard Time
Sent from the Internet (Details)

The Sweatshirt Committee is asking the Executive Board to approve up to $900.00 to have 50 more of the LaGuardia Sweatshirts printed in size small. This order must be placed on Monday morning, May 5th. Please email or call in your vote ( yes, no or abstention) by Sunday Evening, May 4th to: Jane Lewis (note new email address) Home# 212-663-6585.

Charles, the Co-President, announced at a General PA Meeting that a letter had been sent to the Administration in support of tenure for Bill Stevens. Parents called me outraged that he had made a unilateral decision. We cannot allow unilateral decisions without parental input due to "closed" meetings which are not noticed, sending emails which are edited to reflect the personal opinions of one or two people, but not the general membership; and rejecting the volunteer help of parents not in "the in crowd". Several parents including myself volunteered to be on the budget committee, but were never told when the meetings were, and therefore had no input whatsoever in the information gathering which became the undecipherable budget and income/expense report. We were not told that Charles was getting money from the PA funds, we do not know why we are $27,000 over our budget for grants, and we have many more questions. We were never told when the SLT meetings were, and I could not work on revising the SLT Bylaws because I was not an elected member. Are SLT Bylaws a confidential document? An Executive Board member told parents who showed up at College Night that they were not needed, and to go home, the Co-Presidents and the few other Executive Board members (in the "select group") were taking care of everything [EXHIBIT 10]
In the email received May 18, 2003, despite the fact that I made my report on the Math program for next year at the A & C meeting described in this email, there is no mention of my report. What IS reported is that there will be, according to Kas Wilson's misleading and erroneous email, elections on June 10 for the liaisons, despite an email sent by Kas to me saying otherwise [EXHIBIT 11]. Since Kas' email does not, consistently, include anything I have said at any meetings, the parents who receive the emails have no independent knowledge that I have done anything. Please re-read the process I outline above about control of information by those who want to keep the power structure in the hands of those who want/have it. I protest the process Kas has set up, in my opinion, to remove people by whatever means possible.

3. Closed School Leadership Team meetings, a secret CEP, and inappropriate behavior by Mr. Bill Stevens and members of the Team. At a Fall SLT meeting Mr. Bill Stevens discussed spending $8000 of School Leadership Team money on a newspaper ad in order to hire a new teacher. I did not believe that SLT money should - or could - be used this way, so I waited until the end of the discussion, and started to suggest that perhaps there were other ways we could publicize the vacancy... Ms. Lewis, Ms. Nicole, and the others on the SLT including the Principal said nothing when Bill Stevens, an AP at La Guardia, rudely interrupted me and told me that I had to remove myself from the table and sit on a chair by the wall. I was literally stunned at being spoken to this way, especially since there were 4 senior students sitting to my left. Bill told everyone that the SLT Bylaws specifically stated that no observers could speak at an SLT meeting. I had never seen the SLT Bylaws. At the end of the meeting I asked Mr. Stevens for a copy, and I picked them up the next day. I saw that the SLT Bylaws were being violated by:

Article VI, Section 2 - "A calendar of tentative meeting dates and times will be prepared at the beginning of the school year". No calendar was ever distributed to the general PA membership.

Article VI, Section 3 - Attendance at Meetings:
3.1 "Attendance at meetings will be limited to members, observers and invited guest speakers". Meetings of the SLT must be open to all constituents of La Guardia.

3.3 "The number of observers will be limited to half the number of each constituency". Anyone may attend as observers, or we are setting up closed meetings for a chosen few.

3.4 "Observers including alternates will be limited to half the size of the delegation". What is a delegation? How does anyone know the size of it, and then pick the appropriate number, minus any alternates and previously scheduled observers?

Article VI is, in my opinion, written in such a way as to keep anyone out of the meetings who is not wanted by the group. No member of the SLT, PA, LA Guardia Administration or Department of Education did anything to rectify this.

Article III
1.3 "A parent who is an employee of the Board of Education may not serve as a parent member on a SLT": Kas Wilson was elected/appointed to be on the SLT and works for the DOE. At her "election" she never stated this fact, therefore the parents at the school were not allowed to discuss the issue of whether we wanted to have a member of the DOE on our SLT. Many parents at the school do not want this, as they feel this is a conflict of interest. Diana Nicole, Jane Lewis, Charles Thompson, SueGoldman and all the other members of the Executive Board and the SLT as well as Doreen Conwell at the Superintendant's office began to attack me for questioning this clause and for bringing Kas' membership on the SLT to light. Everyone said that this clause was just a "misprint", and what was meant was that no parent who worked for the Board of Education at La Guardia High School could take a seat on the SLT. My position has been, and is, that the Bylaws were written, and in order to change anything, we must have an open discussion as to what the amendment or changes should be.

A few days after the incident with Mr. Stevens, I received a telephone call from the attendance office. I was told that my child had skipped many classes and was going to fail. I asked what the dates were, and many unexcused absences were for one day, when I faxed a note to the nurse saying my daughter was ill. Another unexcused abence was due to the fact that the AP for Science does not leave the children who have LAB any time for lunch. My daughter, who is just 16, gets very hungry during the middle of the day, and must eat something. This one day it was either starve or go to Lab, and she chose the former rather than the latter. Is this ok, that an Assistant Principal does not schedule the students for a few minutes to eat lunch? Do I have to be attacked for questioning the Administration?

4. Misrepresentation of the general membership of the PA at La Guardia meetings and events by the email sent to a limited and select number of parents without important information which parents need to know. The email sent out by Kas Wilson is the only notice sent to parents, and I was told by an Executive Board member that there are about 298 parents on the listserv. If there are 2500 students at the school, this means that hardly more than 10% of the parents receive the events and notices from the PA. Kas also is selective about the information, usually omitting anything that I say. The Recording Secretary at the May 6 meeting crossed out my name as participating in the Bylaws meeting in Mr. Sawyer's office (the meeting I set up) because, she told everyone, she "was told to." I volunteered to be the Math Liaison for the A&C Committee at the October meeting, only to see my name replaced by another parent in the email Kas sent out the next day! I called Kas at the District 2 office, and she told me that another parent had volunteered before, and hung up. I called the parent named in Kas' email, and she told me that was not true. She wrote a letter of outrage at the way Kas summarily replaced me.

5. A PA budget which is in violation of the Chancellor's Regulations
The latest income/expense sheet spans the months April 2002-May 2003, without a summary at the end of the year September 2001-June 2002.(see EXHIBITS 5, 6, 7, 8, 9); and there are funds which have been given to the Co-Presidents in August and at various times during the year which have never been explained or voted on by the PA. Also, some parents wanted to set up a meeting with an education advocate to speak about high stakes testing under "No Child Left Behind", and were told by some members of the Executive Board that the PA would not be interested ( yet there was no vote on this , and no discussion at a general PA meeting simply because they felt that this did not affect the greater population at La Guardia.) Clearly, a select few are making decisions for the rest of the general membership and this must stop. Also, funds are not audited or accounted for in the PA account, and we are a 501(C) 3. There are many violations of the rules here. And all of the parents who worked this year on this budget are re-elected again for next year.

6. The very same people who have controlled the PA and SLT for the past several years have written a CEP with different numbers for Special Education children on different pages, made errors in performance data reports, and in general have not served the needs of the La Guardia Community in terms of special education. There are no parents on the SLT who can advocate for appropriate services. Therefore, budgetary and educational decisions are being made on behalf of special education students whose needs may or may not be met appropriately and even more specifically according to their IEPs.

7. Inappropriate actions of DOE Personnel at the Manhattan Superintendant's office: none of the above would have happened, we allege, if Superintendant Sawyer, his Deputies, and Ms. Doreen Conwell had intervened to bring the PA Bylaws into compliance with the Chancellor's Regulations before Ms. Swarns and Ms. Perez told them they had to. By April 29, I was already labeled "the bad guy" and already made enemies among the "select few" of my peers - parents - who did not want any changes in the status quo and their positions on the PA and on the Executive Board. My goal in speaking up was, solely, to abide by the letter of the law, the A-660s, and foster the most parent involvement possible at my daughter's school. I never have, nor will I ever succumb to threats and harassment in order to allow illegal, hurtful or otherwise inappropriate behavior to occur anywhere, at any time. Therefore, I endured taunts and insults which could have been avoided, had someone in the Superintendant's office done something to encourage the process way before I had to act instead. Also, the SLT Bylaws were definitely out of compliance with the "Green Book" and the SLT Regulations and FAQs, and the minutes and CEP are of questionable value as well. Ms. Cynthia List agreed at my April meeting, therefore my question remains, "Why didn't anyone change these Bylaws before I stood up and had to be attacked?" There is, in addition, the huge and ever-getting-worse situation of our beloved teacher "John Doe" being labelled and hunted by Mr. Sawyer and Mr. Racanelli in a way that none of us at La Guardia understand but are following closely.
In conclusion, we ask for your assistance in establishing a fair and open election and nominating procedure at La Guardia High School for both the PA Executive Board and School Leadership Team seats in the Fall of 2003 by invalidating the election which took place on May 6 for the above mentioned reasons. On a personal note, I hope that this complaint will not result in any retaliatory actions by the Administration of La Guardia High School, DOE personnel or anyone else. I assure you that I will do whatever I have to do to protect my four children and myself from retribution.
We await your earliest reply to our new process, the "E-accountability complaint" which will serve not only to highlight the inappropriate activities at La Guardia and the Manhattan Superintendant's office, but also clearly spell out your responsibility in rectifying the situation,your accountability.

Thank you!

Cc: Ms. Kim Bruno Respectfully,

Betsy Combier

Response to the above emailed from Mr. Chad Vignola (cc to himself, signed by Joel Klein?)
Correct information given in italics by The E-Accountability Foundation

Joel I. Klein, Chancellor
52 Chambers Street – New York, NY 10007

September 19, 2003

By Certified Mail and Email (no certified mail was sent)
Ms. Betsy Combier
The E-Accountability Foundation
315 East 65th Street
New York, New York 10021

Re: In the Matter of an Appeal from a Decision of The Manhattan High School Superintendent regarding the 2003 Election of the Officers of the Parent Association at LaGuardia High School
Dear Ms. Combier and the E-Accountability Foundation:

On April 25, 2003, May 26, 2003 and June 2, 2003, you sent e-mails appealing the May 6, 2003 election of Parent Association (PA) officers at LaGuardia High School. The matter was referred to the Manhattan High School Superintendent, and on June 24, 2003, the Superintendent upheld the results of the election. (Superintendent Sawyer and Doreen Conwell would not admit that neither had brought the PA Bylaws into compliance, and Ms. Conwell said that she had never seen them) You are requesting that the decision of the superintendent be set aside and that the LaGuardia High School PA be directed to conduct a new election for officers.

You allege that the decision of the superintendent should be set aside and the results of the election overturned for the following reasons: (1) proper notices of the elections for the PA and School Leadership Team (SLT) were not sent out to parents advising them of the date and time of the election and the nominees, (2) the PA bylaws are not in compliance with Chancellor's Regulation A-660 with regard to the election process, (3) the committee established to review and revise the bylaws excluded interested parents and didn't consider the suggestions you collected, and the process used to adopt the bylaw amendments was not valid, (4) the special PA meeting held on April 29, 2003 to vote on the revised bylaws was improper, (5) the new bylaws were drafted which allowed for elections to be based on "acclamation" or a "simple majority", which you claim violates Chancellor's Regulation A-660, (6) the election for SLT was not valid, (7) the SLT bylaws do not follow the "green book", and (8) the co-presidents and parents on the Academic and Conservatory committees "have been making unilateral decisions about what can be discussed at their meetings." After a review of your arguments and the relevant facts, the decision on your appeal is set out below.

I. Proper Notices were sent to Parents (False statement) Regarding the Election of the PA Board and SLT Members.

The record indicates and the school independently confirmed (False; no notice was ever produced by the school, and there is no record of a notice being issued) that a written notice was sent home to parents in students backpacks on both April 1, and 13, 2003.(I, Vice-President, and all my friends never saw these notices). The notice stated: "Elections will take place on Tuesday, May 6th, at the Regular PA Meeting at 7 PM." It notified parents whom to contact if they wanted to nominate someone or be nominated, how to contact the person, provided the deadline for mailed-in nominations, and stated that nominations from the floor would be taken at the April 1 and May 6, 2003 meetings. Additionally, it listed all of the positions available and their eligibility requirements. The notice also provided information regarding the SLT positions. Further, there was a tear-off portion for sending in a nomination. A copy is attached as Exhibit A.. (No Exhibit A was ever received or seen) In addition, this notice was sent by email on March 17 and April 13, 2003, to approximately 850 parents who participate in an informal parent network called the LaGuardia Parent News Bulletin. (The listserv moderator stated there were 298 parents on this email list, approximately 10% of the student body, and not in compliance with the Chancellor's Regulations for election notice)The notice also had a second page which was a ballot of people who had been nominated already. This ballot was subject to change since nominations were to be taken from the floor or mailed in as noted on the first page. Even the final ballot prepared for use at the election contained blank lines to add additional candidates if they were nominated at the election meeting. It appears that every effort was made to allow parents to participate in nominations and elections.(Only if parents had received it)
You also conclusorily argued that the notices were not sent out in a timely fashion. Chancellor's Regulation A-660 requires in Section I.B1.a. that "Regular membership meetings require a minimum of ten days written notice." The notices are dated April 1, and 13, 2003, well in excess of the ten-day requirement and constitute valid notification to the parents. Moreover, despite the fact that you claimed at the August 25th public Panel meeting that you had "conclusive proof" of the failure to provide proper parent notification of the PA meetings, your actual submission was quite bereft of a shred of such proof.(Exactly; I never saw the election notice, so I could not send it)

II. The PA Bylaws for LaGuardia High School are in compliance with Chancellor's Regulation A-660 with regard to the election process, the process was followed and, thus, the election was valid.(Two days before the election the Bylaws were voted on at a secret meeting, changing the Bylaws so that paper ballots were mandated. This grievance was written before this happened)

You argued in your April 25, 2003 e-mail that the election was flawed because "we have not seen the procedure, with paper ballots, sign-in sheets, etc, for several years...." Chancellor's Regulation A-660 requires in Section I.D.2. that "Written ballots are required for contested elections having more than one nominated candidate for any office or offices." The LaGuardia High School PA bylaws require in Section 4.5, "the use of a written ballot in accordance with Chancellor's Regulation A-660." The LaGuardia High School PA bylaws are consistent with the Chancellor's Regulation and are valid.

In addition, section 4.5 of the PA bylaws states: "A member of the administration will attend each election with a list of names of parents for the purposes of verification. Once a parent has signed this verification sheet, s/he will receive a ballot." We have independently confirmed that Department staff was present and have corroborated that the proper election process was followed by the LaGuardia PA. The record shows that the election was held on May 6, 2003. On that date the parents' names were checked against a student list, the parent was required to sign in, and a written ballot was issued to each individual. The ballots were completed, collected and tallied, and the results were announced at the end of the election. This met all of the requirements of the Chancellor's Regulation and the PA Bylaws. Accordingly, the election was valid. Further, the school has confirmed that it has retained the sign in sheets, ballots, and tally sheets.(This did occur, but then the results of the voting were never disclosed; the point of the grievance was to change the way parents were notified, not only what happened at the election)

III. The Revision of PA Bylaws was Valid.

You argue that the Bylaw revisions were not valid because a bylaw committee was formed and, despite the fact that you were "the PA Executive board member gathering suggestions," the committee did not use the information that you gathered. You further alleged that the bylaws should be invalidated because they do not conform to Chancellor's Regulation A-660. (Two days before the election, the PA President tried to get the election by ACCLAMATION passed)
Chancellor's Regulation A-660, Section I.B.1.t Regular Review of Bylaws, provides: "The PA must provide a regular review of its bylaws. A formal review must be conducted at least once every three years." The PA formed a committee in the spring of 2003 which reviewed and revised the PA bylaws. The process requires approval of the general membership to ensure that interested parties have input into the changes. The bylaws were approved by the PA general membership on April 29, 2003 and became effective on that date. The LaGuardia PA followed the requirement in the Chancellor's Regulation and the process used to review and revise the bylaws was valid. That your suggestions may not have been incorporated into the revised bylaws does not render them invalid.(The second committee wrote that the election would be by ACCLAMATION, and it was only changed on April 29 because I attended)

IV. The Meeting to Revise the Bylaws was Proper.

You allege that the special meeting to vote on the amended bylaws should be invalidated. Chancellor's Regulation A-660 states in Section I.B.1.a.: "Bylaws must include provisions for special meetings to address emergency and unanticipated situations for which immediate action is required." The PA bylaws as amended on April 9, 2002, stated in Article VIII, Section 2: "Special Meetings also [sic] may be called by the Co-Presidents acting together. Special Meetings may be called only for particular agenda items; no other items m[a]y be raised or acted upon." This section of the old bylaws set forth that the meeting could be called and that it could only be for the pre-determined issue. The meeting notice was sent to parents twice, once by e-mail dated April 1, 2003 and once by letter dated April 10, 2003 that was sent home with students. (FALSE) The meeting notice for the special meeting was sent out, at a minimum, 19 days before the meeting and is sufficient notice to parents of the special meeting.

V. The Election by a Simple Majority is Appropriate.(FALSE! Not in a contested election)
Your June 2, 2003 letter states that the proposed new Section 2. Term of Office; Eligibility provides that: "Officers will be elected by acclamation or by a simple majority at the May PA meeting ... and that this was not acceptable." The amended bylaws that were accepted by the membership at the April 29, 2003 meeting state, in the new Section 2. Term of Office; Eligibility in fact provide: "The term of office will be from July 1 through June 30. Officers will be elected at the May PA meeting, for a one-year term beginning July 1, in accordance with Section 4.5 of this Article IV." Section 4.5, Election and Use of Ballot states:

Voting will be by written ballot in accordance with Chancellor's Regulation A-660. Names of candidates will appear on the ballot in alphabetical order under the title of the office for which they were nominated. Ballots will be printed with instructions in English and in other languages, whenever possible. A member of the administration will attend each election with a list of names of parents for the purposes of verification. Once a parent has been [sic] signed this verification sheet, s/he will receive a ballot. The election will be scheduled at a time that encourages maximum PA member participation. This will require at least one evening session. Ballots will be counted immediately following the election and in the presence of the PA members. Ballots will be retained for six months by the Chair of the Nominating Committee. If s/he will no longer be an eligible member after June 30, the ballots will be turned over to the incoming Secretary.

Thus, a simple review of the bylaws confirms that they do not provide for voting by acclamation as you allege. (FALSE. I alleged, and it is a fact, that the PA wrote the new Bylaws stating that a vote by ACCLAMATION would be approved, and I protested; I never went along with this)
You also raise the issue that an election by a "simple majority" is not proper. Chancellor's Regulation A-660 does not state that a person must be elected by a specific percentage of the vote. Thus, the election by a simple majority is appropriate and valid.(FALSE. Not when there is a contested contest, as there was for Vice-President of the PA)

VI. The SLT Election was Valid.
You allege that the SLT election was invalid because the process was improper. The notices sent out by the PA regarding the scheduling of the election was previously discussed in detail above. The notices included information about the SLT election, and a list of four parents nominated for the SLT was attached to the notice which also allowed for additional nominees. The final ballot included twelve candidates and directed that votes could be cast for six. It explained that one position had to be a PA president and one was being held open for an incoming freshman parent, who would be elected in September. The vote was taken after the PA election and is, therefore, valid. (FALSE. No election notice was sent out.)

VII. The SLT Bylaws are Valid.
You allege that the SLT bylaws are not in compliance with the "green book" without specifically indicating how. The SLT bylaws were rewritten and approved by committee on May 1, 2003. The bylaws are in compliance with the "green book" and are valid.(FALSE: closed meetings are unconstitutional; your stating the Bylaws are valid is neither factual nor valid)

VIII. It is proper for the Co-Presidents and the Parents on a Sub-Committee to set an agenda for their meetings and to follow the agenda but they must allow time for open discussion and new items.
It is unclear from your e-mails whether the committees refused to allow any new issues to be raised or if there was ever any open discussion. Though it is appropriate for a committee to have an agenda and to follow it, it is also appropriate to have a way for parents to raise new issues and to offer opinions or have discussion on matters. On the other hand, a reasonable opportunity to discuss new issues is not without limits. The PA may set any reasonable limits, including but not limited to; when a new issue may be raised or how much time will be devoted to discussion on new issues. Therefore, I direct the PA to ensure that meetings provide a mechanism for parents to raise new issues (this could be by letter or a specific period of time at a meeting for that purpose - e.g., Open Discussion or New Business). Confirmation of this direction shall be posted on the PA's webpage and announced at the next PA meeting.

Based on the foregoing, I uphold the validity of the new bylaws for the PA and SLT and the election of officers that occurred on May 6, 2003. Accordingly, your grievance is denied in its entirety.

Joel I. Klein

c: Chad Vignola
Jean Desravines
Kim Bruno, Principal, LaGuardia High School
Lucille Swarns, Regional Superintendent
Jecrois Jean Baptiste, Local Instructional Superintendent
Diane McFarlane, Senior Regional Counsel

© 2003 The E-Accountability Foundation