Ohio education board official protests barring from meeting

Catherine Candisky -- Columbus Dispatch, Columbus, Ohio, June 30, 1998

A state Board of Education member is steamed about being barred from some meetings sponsored by the National School to Work office in Cleveland this month, a federal agency.

Diana Fessler of New Carlisle, said she was not permitted to attend a strategy meeting for eight states that received the first round of federal money for the program. Later, she said she was booted from a communications task force meeting at the four-day seminar.

Ohio is among numerous states participating in the program, which links students with the courses, training and connections they need to land a job in the workplace.

In a letter last week to Education Secretary Richard Riley and Labor Secretary Alexis Herman, Fessler said she was an opponent of School To Work but argued that all citizens should be welcome to meetings held at taxpayers' expense about a publicly funded program.

"This is not a letter of complaint. It is a declaration: Your people are out of control. This letter also serves as formal notification that concealment of public information, unless required for national security, will not be tolerated,'' Fessler wrote.

Citing the federal Freedom of Information Act, she also asked for copies of program budgets along with all communications, contracts, minutes, recordings and supplemental materials from the seminar.

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Diana M. Fessler 7530 Ross Road New Carlisle, OH    45344
(937) 845-8428 FAX (937) 845-3550 e:mail: diana@fessler.com