From the Argus.
The Howell Public Schools Board of Education approved rule changes Monday that allow district residents to have more of a say in curriculum changes — but no vote — and that raise the limits of religious content that may be taught in the classroom.
However, board members and administrators had different interpretations about the application of the new religious content policy.
On a 4-3 vote, the board approved a motion to add two nonvoting private citizens from the district to each of the district's 14 subject-area curriculum committees, which review new books sought by teachers, but does not allow the citizens to vote. Voting against the measure were Trustees Wendy Day and Kim Shumaker, and Vice President Jeannine Pratt.
I'm not sure two is enough, but the good news is that finally the policy itself is being discussed and not just the content. The process before was what was flawed. This should have been settled in an acceptable manner months, if not years ago, saving a headache in the press. Wendy Day didn't think the proposal was good enough and mentions it in her blog.
The board then approved 6-1 to approve the instructional policy as a whole, including the amendment to the subject committees as well as increasing the content of sacred music in its instructional program from 30 percent to 50 percent. Day voted no.
I'm not a fan of arbitrary limits, but Literski menioned a legal policy on 50%. I haven't studied all the ins and outs of the Establishment Clause case law in the 1st Amendment, but if there is a court decision on it, than it is binding, whether or not what is written in the Constitution itself. I do think the 50% is the right decision (if not best policy) if for no other reason, to avoid a court fight. As a prominent 2a supporting attorney says...."Don't be a test case." Howell Schools don't want to go to court over this. I think everybody agrees on that.
Not all the fires there are put out yet, but this is a start and something to build on. Hopefully, the only fires left are the usual fires seen on school boards - fiscal matters. They never go away.