At the most recent Burbank Unified School Board meeting at City Hall that lasted two hours and 45 minutes, several points were discussed and voted upon by the school board members.
First and foremost was the 5-0 vote to accept the district’s 2022-2023 Initial Bargaining Proposal to the Burbank Teachers Association.
The vote was taken, and it didn’t take very long for all five members to approve.
First there was a public hearing of the district’s 2022-2023 Initial Bargaining Proposal to the Burbank Teacher Association.
Also, on the table and by a unanimous vote of 5-0, it was proclaimed that September 15 through October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month.
Dr. Emily Weisberg spoke. “Whereas the state of California is home to over 3 million Hispanic students from kindergarten through grade 12 and where the diversity of this group includes persons who have their origin in Mexico, Central and South America, Europe, Africa and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean Islands and since the inception of European contact with our continent, Hispanics have always been an integral part of the nation’s early exploration and California’s discovery and early settlement, and the impact of the Hispanic culture and traditions are manifested in our state’s customs, traditions and laws, and where Hispanic Americans continue to make important contributions to our society in American government, business, agriculture, commerce, armed forces, education, the arts, science and sports, must reflect the experiences of men and women of different racial, religious and ethnic groups and must be integrated at every level,” she said. “The Burbank Unified School District, board of education proclaims the month of September as Hispanic Heritage Month and encourages all schools in the Burbank Unified School District to commemorate the occasion with appropriate instructional activities.”
Next came yet another unanimous vote of 5-0 that proclaimed the month of September 2022 is Parent Teacher Association Membership Month.
Charlene Walters, a parent advocate and a mother of two children in the BUSD system, addressed the board and said that the PTA is vital for the growth and well-being of all children.
Walters, who has been active in the PTA for six years and is a former teacher, having taught in public and private schools in Australia, Canada and the United States, urged that everyone join the PTA and held membership cards for those who wanted to sign up.
“I encourage all parents to join,” she said. “We are in this for the safety of all children and the improvement of children’s lives. It’s open to all.”
Fairly early in the meeting, the Burbank High Speech and Debate National Championship team was introduced to the members and those in the stands.
Dr. John Paramo, the Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, then introduced Julie Markussen, the principal of Burbank High.
“It is my pleasure to introduce our Burbank High School’s impressive and award-winning speech and debate team. They are led by their very skilled and generous coach Brandon Batham,” she said. “He’s providing our students with opportunities and tools that will benefit them for a lifetime. He is so generous because he is a 100 percent volunteer coach. We are very lucky to have him at Burbank High.”
Batham, humble and sincere, then spoke to the board members.
“I am a proud product of Burbank schools. Very lucky to live in the house that I grew up in, here in Burbank. I am incredibly proud of the work that these [five students but only four were present] have done,” he said. “This activity has one of the most significant impacts on students’ long-term demonstrable, talk about data. When college admission counselor’s look at applications and when they see something, an extracurricular activity, like speech and debate, they understand the level of determination that it takes, and beyond that to have what I believe to be Burbank’s first national champion, is a big deal.”