Well seems the Milford Beacon decided that I was either too wordy, or they just did not want folks to see what transparency looks like. Either way I’m re-posting my answers to their questions in there entirety so the folks in Milford can make the right decisions on May 8th.
- Why are you running for School Board? I am running for the board because I still feel there is work to be done in the district and I believe I can play a role in the decisions that will shape the future for the district. As board members in Delaware, we are a volunteer group of citizens who have taken on the responsibility of advocating for Public Education. Delaware’s board members are using their voices to shape the future for the children in Delaware and our communities. We do this by recognizing and celebrating the accomplishments of the students and staff by attending everything from open houses to graduations. Second, we work with parents and parents groups to build relationships that foster the “developmental assets” needed to help our students grow. We also work with other stakeholders and education groups, both state and federal, that can lend insight and help to see that all children have the right to a good education experience. Lastly, as board members we need to promote not only board service, but also long term service that research has shown is the best way to influence the education our children receive in both Milford and Delaware.
- What are the three important issues facing your district, and how do you plan to address them?
A. New Superintendent search: Currently the district has contracted with University of Delaware DASL group to conduct the search. First step is Community meetings to get input from the Milford stakeholders as to what is needed in a new superintendent. After this a job description will be finalized with the board and sent out possibly on a national search network asking for resumes from candidates. Once the time frame for submission of resumes is complete they will be initially evaluated and graded by a rubric to screen for interviews. Once the candidates have been interviewed and evaluated the final decision is made by the board and a contract is offered.
B. Shrinking financials from the State Budget: Currently the State budget is showing more cuts to Education dollars and the district struggles to keep salaries in the district competitive to keep good teachers in the district. Lobbying the legislators and meeting with our local representatives a key to making the point that education quality comes with a price tag. The RTTT grant has a limited lifetime and many initiatives started with this funding will not be sustainable when the dollars go away in 3 years. The districts free and reduced population continues to grow with ~56% currently and meeting the needs of this population involves more then teaching their children to pass a test. Finally, the district needs to continue to look at ways to save money through collaboration and shared services, and by not investing in services that only serve one group and not the whole student body.
C. Communication with Community Stakeholders: In the last several years many decisions made surrounding the education of the children of Milford have been taken out of the hands of the community where it belongs, and made by members of the state, district and building staff. From Superintendent choice, to which test we are teaching our children too, and finally policies such as dress code these decisions need to have more input from the public and parents they directly affect. The board should meet with and look for better ways to serve the needs of the growing diverse groups in Milford, not just the small circle they are part of. The Milford Community continues to change and the School District must change with the changing needs of the children and parents in the community.