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Petition asks school district for transparency

Signers from Cornelius, Forest Grove want district to reconsider some cuts

A group calling itself 'Citizens and Taxpayers for More Transparency' is circulating a petition asking the Forest Grove School District administration to satisfy five criteria before final adoption of the 2011-12 budget by the school board.

By Tuesday, about 80 signatures had been gathered outside Dutch Bros. Coffee on Pacific Avenue, said Candi Chamberlain, a Forest Grove parent spearheading the effort. She added that an entire petition page, carrying about 25 signatures, had gone missing last Thursday and had not been recovered.

Chamberlain said she expected to turn the paperwork in to Forest Grove City Hall and the school district office Tuesday afternoon.

The petition calls for district Superintendent Yvonne Curtis and 'administrators associated with preparation and administration' of the budget to:

•Make public more detailed information about budget line items, including [the] cost of football programs and other disputed programs 'that infringe upon non-extracurricular and direct instruction of students';

•Make public all actual costs associated with implementation of the Reading Street textbook curriculum, including payments to the publisher; costs associated with the [purchase of the] program, including past and future training; computer hardware requirements to administer it; and an accounting of educator time in minutes per day required by the program;

•Review and reconsider recommendations made by the community Summit on Education committee;

•Make cuts first to programs and personnel 'that have the least contact with the direct education of students (specifically non-teaching staff and administrators)'; and

•Delay approval of the budget until all other requirements are met and 'clear and unambiguous answers' are provided to district citizens and taxpayers.