By Paul Riede, Syracuse.com
The Syracuse school board tonight gave Superintendent Sharon Contreras and board President Michelle Mignano the authority to complete an agreement with the state Attorney General's Office to correct problems with the district's discipline policies and practices.
Under the proposals in a preliminary document from the Attorney General's Office dated June 10, the agreement will require the district to reduce student suspensions, create alternative approaches to discipline, and ensure that discipline is meted out equitably to children of all races and abilities.
The district also will be required to revise its Code of Conduct -- as it is doing -- to ensure students' due process rights are protected. And it will have to provide training to students and teachers on the new discipline practices, and reach out to parents to make sure they understand their children's rights and responsibilities.
The draft agreement would require the district to retain an "independent monitor" to oversee the agreement and make sure the district is following through on it.