My Views

Our Teachers Union

My view is that a strong teachers union is an important way for teachers to improve their work environment (which is our students’ learning environment). Each year I was a teacher, I was a dues-paying member of the teachers union. I served as a representative on the state-mandated discussion committee, which is a monthly meeting of school administrators with theContinue reading “Our Teachers Union”

Transfer Student Policy

Our school board has not set a transfer student policy to govern how many transfer students to accept and how to select which applicants will be allowed to enroll. Decisions are left to the discretion of the superintendent with no oversight. An optimal policy would probably accept some transfer students in order to balance student numbers across grades in orderContinue reading “Transfer Student Policy”

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 construction projects, leaving our district withContinue 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 $1.4 million from the referendum fundContinue 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 voted on the issue: “Prior toContinue 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 on the agenda had vague titlesContinue 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 likely outweighed by the stigma fromContinue 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. They are making it possibleContinue 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 to get a position in ourContinue 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 the referendum. From 2007 to 2018,Continue reading “Class Size”

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