Report Card

News and discussion on K-12 schools in the greater Sacramento region

June 13, 2013
Natomas Unified trustee on campaign to videotape meetings

Trustee Ryan Herche wants Natomas Unified School Board meetings videotaped.

He promised it when he campaigned for his school board seat last year.

But last night, the rest of the school board disagreed, Herche said. They said it is too expensive and would take too much staff time, said Herche, the only board member in support of the proposal.

Board President Susan Heredia did not answer requests for comment Thursday.

Herche said most of the residents he encountered while campaigning said they wanted board meetings to be videotaped and available online. Most people don't have time to go to a lengthy meeting on a weeknight, he said. Minutes also are vulnerable to human error and sometimes aren't available for weeks or months, he said.

"It's frustrating that the board doesn't see the importance of transparency and they aren't ready to take this next step to build the public trust," Herche told The Bee.

Locally, not many school districts offer recordings of their meetings online. Sacramento City Unified uses Access Sacramento to televise its meetings. Washington Unified in West Sacramento also shows its meetings on cable. Other districts tape meetings, but don't put them online.

Herche said the video equipment would cost about $1,000, and the district could probably get it donated.

"Once it is set up it only takes a person to hit the record button before and after the meeting," Herche said. He suggested that high school audio-visual students could gain experience by working the camera at the meeting.

The new board member said he will continue his campaign to press board members to pass a resolution requiring video recordings of board meetings. He plans to use social media and to canvass neighborhoods to promote his plan.

"The point of the video is accountability," Herche said.

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About Report Card

Loretta KalbLoretta Kalb started her reporting career at The Sacramento Union, moved to KOVR-13 as a television reporter, editor and producer, headed to The Associated Press in San Francisco and eventually returned to Sacramento and joined The Sacramento Bee. Throughout her career, she has covered the state Legislature, courts, local government and, now, education. She is a Chico native and an Elk Grove resident.

Diana LambertDiana Lambert began her journalism career as a proofreader at the Lodi News-Sentinel. She is now a senior writer at The Sacramento Bee covering K-12 education and California State University, Sacramento. Previously she was The Bee’s Elk Grove bureau chief. Lambert was raised in a military family and lived at bases around the globe. She attended four high schools, graduating from Tokay High in Lodi and then Sacramento State University. She lives in Elk Grove.

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