I Think There is Room For Improvement – I Look Forward to the new Board

There is room for improvement at the local level in this year’s budget process, and I’m hoping the School Board carefully examines the entire budget. By room for improvement, I do not mean “no new taxes” for schools. As part of this spring’s budget process, I hope the School Board looks out several years and begins to make decisions and plan with several years in mind.
I also believe it was irresponsible for the Superintendent to put school closings and increased class sizes on a cut list while leaving in nearly $2 million for extracurricular activities – that’s about 40 teachers in the classroom. I feel the proposed TAG cut was spiteful as was a third year of major cuts for elementary strings at the same time a Community Fine Arts Task Force begins its work. So, yes, I do hope our School Board looks for options, such as saving transportation costs on the near east side as Lucy Mathiak discovered. Also, to keep the arts and sports, we may need to look at multiple sources of funding but some time is needed for discussions, planning and transitions.
If the School Board begins planning now for several years, incorporating this year’s budget and subsequent budgets with strategic financial planning, we’ll have a better chance of laying the groundwork for an operating referendum later this year or early 2008, but we have to begin now. I’m confident we can successfully pass operating referendums.
Lastly, the election was last Tuesday, and the results were decisive, so why aren’t the folks who care so much about public education moving on? I and others were sad when our candidate did not advance in the February primaries, but we did not carry on about it nor wring our hands over the poor media coverage, which many felt there was.
There are more important things to work on, in my humble opinion – learning how to work together might be a place to start since I still believe we all value excellent public education, which is a great starting point from my perspective. Sadly, I am concerned there are those who would rather spend their time labeling those who don’t agree with them as CONSERVATIVES – start shaking in your boots. I prefer not to waste my energy on such foolishness and fear mongering, because I don’t see how that puts the kids first and gets us where we need to be for them.