Yes, I am running again this year. I was asked to consider doing so and, after some reflection, decided to do it. Now, one of my oldest friends on the Island, dating back to 1961, thinks I am nuts. He is right. Another friend of over 50 years, from Grad School, thinks I am doing the honorable thing. He, also, is right.
While the budget is still an issue, primarily due to decisions that were made in the past that we are stuck with, it isn’t the primary reason that I am running. The past two years have shown the indifference toward and, in some cases, outright neglect of the well-being of our students. The claque in Albany dictated to the schools throughout the state. As usual, it was a one-size-fits all approach. That is bad enough in serene times, much less in the chaos inflicted by COVID. Further, many of their diktats were not based on science, as they should have been. There was no cost-benefit analysis done of the collateral damage caused by their decisions. I was shocked by the passiveness with which almost every district accepted these orders. Neither the governor nor the DOH was ever compelled to provide evidence as to why their approach was appropriate.
The will of the parents, who pay the taxes, was ignored. Of course, it is always ignored. The high priests of education don’t like to be challenged or second-guessed. We hear about communication, but it is just a buzzword. The “Voice of the People at Board” meetings is basically a social safety valve – nothing ever comes of it.
This is what drove me to run. I will not take as an answer: “Because I/we said so.” There has to be a clear benefit from taking said action instead of another. I will push to have the “Voice of the People” section of the board meetings restructured so there is dialogue. Also, we definitely need to encourage students to consider going into the trades. Finally, I haven’t forgotten about the budget. I have an MBA from the University of Chicago, specializing in finance and accounting. I know budgets.
Please come out on May 17 and support me. Ask/beg/implore (!) your friends and neighbors to do the same.
WE CAN DO BETTER!