Our Community Needs Representation

One of the great insights of Nobel laureate George Stigler is that regulatory bodies, like school boards, tend to end up serving the interests of those they are supposed to regulate at the expense of the public. He called this “regulatory capture.” It is common for elected school boards to favor the priorities of schoolContinue reading “Our Community Needs Representation”

Financial Transparency

In a series of town halls in 2015 and 2016, school leaders presented plans for $50 million in construction (with donations expected to cover some of that cost) to build WLIS and renovate portions of WLES and Jr/Sr HS. But, then the school board quietly borrowed $95 million between 2017 and 2020 for these constructionContinue reading “Financial Transparency”

Debt Payments

In 2023, the school corporation will make debt payments of $6.15 million. This is about $800,000 more than the projected tax revenue to the debt service fund. This means that funds that had been intended for other purposes will be diverted to pay the debt on the recent construction. The school board already transferred $1.4Continue reading “Debt Payments”

Access to Information

What is the single most important thing I want to change about our school board? I want to bring community input back into school decisions. This cannot happen if the school board “gag order” is left in place.  Current school board policy is to not release any information until after the school board has votedContinue reading “Access to Information”

Community Engagement

Years ago, when I first attended a WL school board meeting, I found it uninviting. The unwelcoming tone started right at the top of the agenda which said that the school board “will not entertain questions during a board meeting.” The school board also seemed to be intentionally obscuring what was being done. Items onContinue reading “Community Engagement”

School Rankings

Our school district paid niche.com $9,900 in 2020 to promote their rankings of our schools. My opinion is that Niche is not a particularly reputable ranking site (facebook scandal, company renaming and rebranding, pushing schools to pay for a “premium profile”) and I think that whatever benefit is gained from the online advertising is likelyContinue reading “School Rankings”

No Name Calling

On Monday, I had the opportunity to talk with Sadie Harper-Scott, the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the Tippecanoe School Corporation (TSC). Sadie is passionate about changing the culture of what type of behavior is acceptable at school. She is leading trainings for students and teachers to put a stop to name calling.Continue reading “No Name Calling”

Prioritizing Teachers

Our school district has recently struggled to attract and retain highly-effective teachers. It didn’t used to be this way. Just a few years back, we would have several highly-qualified teachers apply for each job posting. Many of these applicants were experienced teachers in neighboring school districts. Some teachers would apply year after year, trying toContinue reading “Prioritizing Teachers”

Class Size

As a parent, I value smaller class sizes for my children. This has been one of the distinctive characteristics of our elementary school that attracts families to our school district and keeps our property values high. Small class size is something that was highlighted during the campaign to ask our community to vote for theContinue reading “Class Size”