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What is the biggest issue facing the school district...

October 14, 2004

What is the biggest issue facing the school district?

Over the past three years, we have cut $1.1 million, $2.2 million

and almost $900,000 respectively. We again, this coming year, may

have to cut another $300,000 from our budget. These cuts need to be

made as far away from the classrooms as possible. That has always

been my position, as the kids come first.

What can be done to keep test scores on the rise?

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This is an area where our district shines. Nine of our 10 schools

exceeded the state's expectation of 800 in 2004. The 10th school beat the goal set by the district by 123 points. We will continue the

course we have set.

What needs to be done to bolster the budget? What programs should

take priority?

We have engaged in revenue-enhancing activities, which include a

district-wide campaign to encourage parents to only keep children out

of school when they are ill and not pull them out of school for

family extended weekends or outings. This way, we do not loose the

average- daily-attendance dollars for the child not being in class.

We also have a group of parents who have formed the Community for

Class Size Reduction. This is a fundraising group that last year

raised $205,000 to allow us to maintain our 20-to-1 class size ratios

in first and second grades.

We are also working to increase our inter-district transfers, and

activity engaging in energy conversation. We are actively pursuing

grants and have an advocacy for reform of Special Ed to get the

Federal Government to pay its fair share.

How can school board members better communicate with parents and

the community?

I have made it a practice, since I was first elected, to make a

concerted effort to attend every PTA and PTSA meeting at every school

at least once during the school year. At these meetings I always ask

if people have any questions I can answer. I also attend school

functions, where I get a chance to meet and talk with parents. My

phone number and e-mail address is public knowledge and many in the

community contact me through either of those sources. These are just

some of the ways board members can better communicate with the

community.

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