School board making right move on videos

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 14, 2015

New Chairman Josh Wagner and the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education are on the path to greater transparency. That’s a good thing.

As soon as new board members were sworn in and Wagner was elected chairman last month, the group took up two important topics in this area: recording how members voted on all issues and making videos of board meetings available to the public.  This will help everyone get a better handle on what the school board does — whether they are watching as school employees, parents, voters, taxpayers or even vendors.

Written newspaper reports on board meetings strive to cover the important points, but the only way to learn every single word said was to attend the meetings. Fortunately, technology is readily available to do better than that. The Rowan County Board of Commissioners and Salisbury City Council have made videos of their meetings available for years, and so have several school boards in the state. It’s time for Rowan-Salisbury to catch up.

Staff originally came up with a $30,000 plan to address this initiative. On Monday, they presented a $10,000 alternative that seemed to satisfy board members and meet the need. The videos won’t be the most exciting footage, but they will provide a complete record available to all. If nothing else, they could help the public appreciate what school board members do.