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School Board votes to postpone remaining meeting time to a later date – during budget cuts discussion

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After debate and discussion during the June 12 meeting, the Grosse Pointe Public School System’s Board of Education voted to continue discussion on Wednesday, June 14 about proposed budget cuts. This follows the May 22 meeting that went until 3 a.m., with over 5 hours of public comment.

At the beginning of the meeting, it was stated on the meeting’s agenda that at 10:30 pm Board Members would take a vote on whether or not to postpone the remainder of the agenda until a later date. At 10:37pm, they voted 4-3 to postpone the remaining minutes to June 14, 2023, two days later. The board brought up John Gierak to answer any questions board members have about school board meeting rules.

‘‘The Open Meetings Act expressly provides for recesses,” Gierak said. “The only provision is that if the recess is longer than 36 hours, then the notice of the next meeting needs to be reposted. ‘So if this doesn’t end at 10:30 (p.m.), then the June 14 meeting would have to be posted (on the district’s website) 18 hours before that meeting.’’

The May 22, 2023 Board meeting finished at 3:30 am in the morning, after hours of public comment and board member debate on the pending budget. The motion to postpone the meeting is a motion to prevent another 10+ hour meeting. GPPSS School Board President Ahmed Ishmail spoke at the beginning of the meeting on how the decision would be made.

‘‘My goal is that if we get to 10:30 pm—if we see that we are 20 minutes away from finishing—then I will look for a motion to extend the meeting for an hour,” Ishmail said. “If we see that there are 50 more comments, which equates to about 3 hours then we will proceed accordingly.’’

This comes at a time when the Board of Education is discussing budget cuts for the 2023-2024 school year that would cut central administration positions, teachers at every level, paraprofessionals, and other positions. A popular budget proposal the board is discussing would cut $4.6 million for the 2023-2024 school year. Board Member Colleen Worden voted not to postpone the remainder of the June 12 meeting.

‘‘Halfway through budget negotiations we decide we are going to put a hard stop on a meeting when there are obviously multiple community members who want to express their opinion,’’ Worden said. ‘‘I don’t think that it’s fair to families to not come out once, but twice, to hear their comments. Effective meetings generally last an hour and a half to two hours and we are getting to a point where we are having 9 hour meetings, clearly the public is not happy with what this board is doing. I think residents have the right to speak up and protect their schools.’’

The meeting started at 6:30pm on June 12, and ended at 10:40pm after the vote to postpone the meeting. The projected time of the remainder of the meeting is roughly 4 hours. Some board members, including Trustee David Brumbaugh, were attempting to continue the meeting.

‘‘I think if you look at the audience, I don’t think that everyone who put in a comment slip is here,” Brunbaugh said. “All of these people have been here until 10:30. I think we can power through to continue the meeting; I think it’s disrespectful to end the meeting at this point.’’

The remainder of the meeting will resume on Wednesday, June 14 at 6:30 in Brownell Middle School’s Auditorium.

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Julia Roeder ’25, Supervising Web Editor
Whether it’s The Rolling Stone, Taylor Swift, Phoebe Bridgers, or Tyler the Creator, Julia Roeder ’25 is guaranteed to have seen them in concert. All eyes envy her as she walks into the journalism classroom wearing merchandise she bought from the concert the night before. When she’s not listening to her favorite artists, she spends most of her time jamming out on her own guitar, being your average aspiring popstar. Besides her still-amounting popstar career, Roeder is also the Supervising Web Editor of The Tower. This is Roeder’s second year on staff and she is looking forward to continuing her role and being involved in the community and school. “I love Tower because you’re informing the community of what’s going on and also getting to know people on staff,” Roeder said.
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Second-year staffer, Audrey MacGillis ’25 spends her time doing various activities. Outside of school, she is a hardworking competitive swimmer for South, Grosse Pointe Gators, and the Grosse Pointe Park Mutants in the summer. In her free time, she listens to music or enjoys reading. Her favorite artists are Taylor Swift and Phoebe Bridgers, who she even got to meet. “Now that were back into the school routine, I’m excited to be able to post stories and have fun writing again,” MacGillis said. Alongside her fun activities, she is excited to be a copy editor for the first time. “I love Journalism because it gets me outside of my box and I’m able to talk to a lot of new people,” MacGillis said.

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