Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Success will take WORK and COMMITMENT from many . . .

I think that there are many of us that feel similar to Scott in his response to my last post about enrollment and overcrowding in our schools.  To those that are upset with class size and the overcrowded conditions he shared what goes through his mind when a parent raises a concern.  He also shares that he wouldn’t respond with these words, but the thoughts do go through his mind. 
  • ·         I understand the frustration,  . . .
  • ·         What did you do to help pass the last bond measure?
  • ·         What are we going to do to fix it?

 Scott is also concerned with what his kindergarten daughter’s experience at Glacier Park Elementary will look and sound like if we are unable to pass a bond measure.  It will be different.  There is a limit to the number of students we can house in our current buildings and at some time in the near future we will reach that number.  What year and in what grade level band will depend on enrollment trends. 

I agree with Scott that the school buildings are a part of basic education and should be supported at the state level.  We do get support from the state in a match program, but must first pass a bond measure with the local community in our case responsible for about 80% of the total cost, far from what one would call ample funding.  We have our work cut out for us considering the need, potential dollar amount of a bond measure, and our poor record of passing bonds. 

Over time we have not been successful at getting parents to register and then vote.  With the majority of voters having no children in schools, the parent vote is critical to successful bond passage.  As Scott says, it will take all of us and it will also take a new solution and strategies.  We are working on the solution and look forward to the opportunity for conversations on strategy to ensure that voters have the factual and descriptive information necessary to make an educated decision.  The WORK will then follow.  Will there be hundreds behind Scott or will we repeat the same patterns that did not work in the past with a small number doing a great deal?  We need more or I fear we will see the same results.  What role are you willing to play?

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