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Kelly's Blog: School Board Meetings Aren't Boring!

9:45 PM, May 14, 2013   |    comments
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  • This might sound weird, but I enjoy covering school board meetings. While I was a reporter in Montana, I only covered one. I can't even remember the topic, but since I was also anchoring the late newscast, usually a reporter would come in to cover meetings that happened at night. But, once I got to Little Rock, I was covering school board meetings all of the time.

    The two largest districts in the viewing area always had something going on.

    The board members fought and were rude to each other during the meetings. There was money being misused. Some of the districts aren't even considered desegregated yet. I found it fascinating to get to know all of the players and as I built relationships with some as sources, I was able to call them up and get loads of story ideas. They trusted me with the information and I trusted them to be truthful with me and let me know if it was worth going to a meeting any given week.

    This week, I went to my first Buffalo School Board meeting. Mostly because Carl Paladino won a seat Tuesday night and I covered his watch party. It seems like there are just as many controversies and characters in Buffalo as Little Rock. It's great for stories, but school boards control so many aspects of education. Their actions have a huge impact. And, in Little Rock, there was a lot of corruption. School board members admitted to using funds to stay at fancy hotels downtown when they live 10 minutes away. They were buying tickets to Broadway shows with school district funds while at conferences. I'm going to link to the print version (the video went away when we went HD) of these stories because you won't believe it. When I confronted these people, they usually didn't answer their phones or walked away from our cameras. I am hoping those antics won't be repeated here in Buffalo as I cover the school board here.

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