The Los Angeles Unified School District board agreed today to reappoint a critic of the district's iPad program to its Bond Oversight Committee.
Stuart Magruder was removed from the panel in May, in a move led by LAUSD board member Tamar Galatzan -- a strong proponent of the $1 billion effort to provide iPads to every student, teacher and administrator.
His removal led to objections from other members of the committee, which authorized a letter to the board saying the committee needs to be an independent voice providing input on the district's use of bond funds.
"Disagreement with the comments, questions and votes of a duly appointed member of the BOC is not a valid justification for the board to refuse to reappoint that member," according to the committee's letter.
Realizing today that her colleagues were going to reappoint Magruder, Galatzan asked that an annual review of the committee be conducted, since such a review was called for when the panel was created.
The board approved Magruder's reappointment on a 4-2 vote, with Galatzan and board member Monica Garcia dissenting.
Matthew Kogan, an adult education teacher, told the board the Bond Oversight Committee served an important function, calling it part of a "cornerstone of American Democracy -- checks and balances."
"I think Mr. Magruder had a different opinion, and that makes us better, not worse," Kogan said.
"On the issue of iPads, many people do agree that they want to take another look (at) that spending," he said. "I think Mr. Magruder was doing his job."
Board member Monica Ratliff said she appreciated the work of committee members, adding, "I hope they do continue to serve and continue to ask questions."
--City News Service