According to an article posted in the Janesville Gazette, the Janesville school board approved a list of companies and universities that the district intends on forming a "new" strategic alliance with.
The story in itself offers little to no insight as to the purpose and plans of the alliance, but the initial list of names reads like Gov. Scott Walker's local campaign donor list. That comes as no surprise however since the school board is taking direction for the list from none other than Walker's local political action business group, Forward Janesville.
According to the newspaper report, some businesses and organizations on the list have not been contacted, which leads to the appearance that the unions have been deliberately excluded by those creating the list.
Oddly, only one board member had the gumption to even inquire about the proposal before the board voted unanimously to approve it.
(Titled: School board OKs long list of possible partners)
The list comprises many local businesses and other organizations, some of which have not been contacted, Schulte said. Some of the entities listed might not even be interested in forming a partnership or strategic alliance.
Board member Peter Severson asked if Schulte would ask for further board approval for specific alliances with any of the entities on the list. Schulte said no. Severson said he would like to know about the purpose and plan for any alliance. Schulte said the policy states she must keep the board informed about such alliances.
Without laying out a mission statement or purpose, this "alliance" should raise alarms among local taxpayers as to its educational objective and possible political direction. Perhaps it was just a publicity oversight, but the district should also explain why local labor union groups, who should play a major role in workforce development, have not been listed "without contact" to participate in the alliance.