Saturday, February 20, 2010

Whatcha gonna do?

There are two possible solutions to the budget problems that don't significantly impact quality of education.

1. Make cuts in non-classroom areas.
2. Increase taxes.

The reason we're supporting #2 is that Melinda and I don't have the expertise to make suggestions for #1, and those who do, haven't found enough to cover the shortfall.

Unfortunately, the only people with expertise who have looked into #1 are the superintendent and others inside the district office. If you don't trust them, or feel that they are too close to the problem to see the solution, we need to find someone else who can look at those budget documents and find a solution.

If you want to look yourself, you can look at the district budget: http://jordandistrict.org/departments/accounting.htm (start with the executive summary, then look at the budget books) and try to find things yourself.

You can also speak at board meetings. The board won't be discussing the budget proposals until March 23, however, you can speak at any meeting between now and then. To speak at a board meeting, you have to be at the meeting and start signing up at 7:00. It is a good idea to have a printed version of your comments. Your comments will be limited to 3 minutes. The board schedule is here. They call people who live in the district "Patrons", since it's your taxes that fund the district. Which should make you feel powerful. It makes me think of rich Italians in the Renaissance that were patrons of famous artists. If anyone wants to come with us, we'll be at the meetings on March 9 and March 23.

You can also contact your board member. Look here to see which precinct you are in. Then look here to see how to contact your board member. For those of you in Herriman, your board member is Carmen Freeman. His address is 5975 W. 13200 South Herriman, UT 84096, and his email address is cfreeman@pckutah.com. They're probably inundated with email right now, so a letter in the mail might be more effective.

Some tips on writing an effective letter:
1. Make it as short as possible.
2. The board might be more receptive if you avoid impugning their motives, or the motives of the administration. From comments we have heard at board meetings, they seem to respect and trust the Superintendent, and sound dismissive of letters that accuse him of greed.
3. Explain your priorities, where you want them to put their efforts in trying to solve the problem.

1 comment:

Kristen said...

Just now seeing this - thank you SO much for posting this. Dan or I (or both) of us are going to be there. I am so upset that they gloss over the parents heads that we could lose accreditation! From a parent perspective, we hear nothing - it's ALL up to us to investigate and read.

ps...I like tea :)My mom had a set of little teacups and saucers from Occupied Japan. I was always so scared to touch them because I knew they must be worth thousands! (Or $10) :)