June 3, 2003 – Tuesday's scheduled meeting of the Board of Education was scrapped, with just two members — the acting chair, Harry Daniel, and St. Thomas member Keith Richards — showing up.
The board has been beset by internal dissent for two months, since five members voted at a March 13 meeting to remove Dr. Jorge Galiber as chair. The board attorney said the action was invalid because a two-thirds majority, or six votes, is needed for a reorganization of the board, but the five rejected that argument. They also rejected the contention of the three other members who had been present at the start of that meeting, but who left in protest before the vote was taken, that the board lacked a quorum for the vote.
Galiber, the only board member who did not appear for that March meeting, recently filed a lawsuit in District Court seeking to have the vote nullified and to regain his position as chair. He contends the board acted illegally and that the action was taken against him in reponse to his going public with concerns about board-related matters.
Galiber's lawsuit was on the agenda for Tuesday's board meeting. So was discussion of financial assistance for Education Department professional staff to take courses during the summer that are required for certification in their fields. Teacher certification is an issue the board must address to comply with mandates of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
No date has been announced for the meeting to be rescheduled.
Board members who did not appear Tuesday are: Galiber, Yvonne Williams Henry, Terrence D. Joseph, Claudette Petersen, Malik Sekou and Linda Thomas. The ninth seat on the board has been vacant since the death in April of Gerald E. Hodge Sr.
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