Tuesday, January 19, 2010

ICSIC news

The FY 2010 budget support act (BSA), B18-203, "Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Support Act of 2009", requires that the mayor appoint five community members to the Interagency Collaboration and Services Integration Commission (ICSIC).   The BSA also requires appointment of the director of the DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation (CYITC) and the president of the District of Columbia State Board of Education.

Mayor Fenty has made the appointments and they are:

  • CYITC Executive Director, Ellen London
  • DC State Board of Education President, Lisa Raymond
  • Local funder of youth service and development activities, George Vradenburg
  • Representative of the early childhood education community, HyeSook Chung
  • Representative of the youth service provider community, Lori Kaplan
  • Representative from the post-secondary preparedness community, Martha Ross
  • Expert on primary and secondary education policy, Lucretia Murphy

From the beginning, many in the community have called for public participation on the ICSIC.   Supporters of community members believed greater transparency would result if the public was represented.   I was not one.   I believe the government needs space to deal with issues, challenges, problems -- call them what you will.   But now that we have public members, it seems that these questions are in order:

  1. How will the public members (excluding CYITC and the DC State Board of Education) gather information from others in the community and share it with fellow ICSIC members?   Will the public members take responsibility for developing a process for gathering information?
  2. Following meetings and other ICSIC interactions, how will the public members inform the public about ICSIC meetings and the like?

Without a commitment from the community members to share information in both directions, the addition of the public members is meaningless.   As it stood before the BSA was passed, members of the public could, and were encouraged to, meet with ICSIC staff and ICSIC member staff about issues of concern.   There always has been public input, perhaps just not the way some wanted.

Of greater concern to me than community input is the fact that there are neither recent "next steps" documents available online nor are all the sessions viewable.   I know from talking with ICSIC and DME staffers that work -- good work -- is going on.   It's just not apparent looking at the Web site.

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