Last night, after much discussion, the City Council, over my objection, established an ad-hoc committee of up to 15 persons to advise on the Richmond Promise Program. I opposed it because there is already an ongoing effort, including a second public meeting June 18, to solicit public input about the Promise Program. Establishing a 15-person committee along with the logistics of staffing five meetings seemed to me like unnecessary bureaucracy, redundancy and delay.
At least one council member has alleged that the process of planning the Richmond Promise has not been transparent, which is not the case. See Letter From Councilmember Bates to the Richmond Standard and Bill Lindsay's Response, June 11, 2015.
City Council members can recommend appointees, but I will be making the appointments subject to City Council approval. If you are interested in serving on the committee, you can apply using a form at http://ca-richmond2.civicplus.com/DocumentCenter/Home/View/190, that must be returned to the city clerk.
At the end of the day, this is all about one issue, whether or not charter school graduates will be able to participate in Richmond Promise, and if so, under what conditions. That decision has not been made yet and ultimately will be made by the Richmond City Council. Adding a 15-person committee that meets five times to the mix is not going to help the City Council make that decision.
There are arguments pro and con about charter school participation, and for that matter, private school participation. I am not going to get into that now.
Complete information about the Richmond Promise Program, including a draft Action Plan as a basis for public review is at www.richmondpromise.org