Immediate Priorities
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Things We Can Do   AG00040_.GIF (8097 bytes)                     

Immediately To Reduce Major Problems.

Balance the Budget. Start now on plan to balance the budget by next year. Need to ask finance department to prepare zero-based budget organized by program. Use proven procedures to solve this rather common problem. I was not comfortable with increasing our deficit by voting for another psychologist and elementary school counselor. However, I have studied the budget enough to know that significant savings should be achieved in other areas. Accordingly, I felt that voting against these items would be punishing the kids for my own incompetence in not being able to persuade enough people that we need to try a zero based process. Now, I think that it is more important than ever that we do this.

Bathrooms. I am also unhappy that we have done nothing to make the bathrooms any better. This is a health issue and it reduces learning in two ways. First, a child who is "holding it" because the bathrooms are unsanitary is likely to be distracted by the discomfort of this. Second, our disgusting bathrooms send a general message about the importance of our overall education effort. School is not a joke, but the bathrooms are a joke and reduce the respect that our students have for our schools. Lynn Wiegers gave us the key to this. Kids will be more civilized if they become more aware of the consequences of their actions. We need to help the kids get to know the custodians and realize that these are hard working people who suffer when the kids are inconsiderate. The kids who think that this is funny (& who are the heart of the problem) need to be EDUCATED to realize that their behavior is inappropriate. Luckily, we are in the education business and I think that we can make the bathrooms a lot better using Lynn’s approach and, possibly, by a series of contests among the schools and/or at each school between the girls and the boys and/or the grade levels. I am hopeful that we can give the staff some creative ideas and request that they consider whether any of this is worth trying. If we attack this as an education issue, I believe that we will be playing to our strength, i.e. education, and our staff can solve this problem. Until we try this, I will not vote to add any more custodians. It takes a problem child two minutes to create hours of custodial work. Adding custodians would be like hiring ten people to mop my kitchen if a pipe breaks. It makes a lot more sense to fix the pipe.

Eric-15.jpg (135758 bytes)My son Eric, last year.

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