Friday, May 30, 2008

BOE Meetings and Letters

With the ongoing "who's on first?" silliness of CARE and their survey, there hasn't been much time to revisit the May 12th BOE meeting. Fortunately, today's letter to the editor served as a reminder of an event at that meeting. Today's letter from Margaret Wooldridge of Park City sounds oddly reminiscent of 259 Board President Connie "We're going to win this" Dietz.

Lacking the ability or facts to support a $350 million bond, both Ms. Wooldridge and Dietz decided to attack bond opponents. Ms. Dietz asked one of the presenters at the BOE meeting if he had visited various schools and suggested a visit to Dodge Elementary. Ms. Wooldridge also attacked "bond opponents". Mere excerpts fail to capture the simplistic language and shrill tone of Ms. Wooldridge's letter. Commentary is parentheses.

Bond critics are ignoring the facts
Have the members of the groups opposing the bond issue visited USD 259 schools? Have they seen how the kids are crowded in classrooms? Have they seen teachers forced to use carts because there are no classrooms for them? Well, I have. My children go to Stucky Middle School and Heights High School.

(Like Dietz, pointing to failures of the District Leadership as justification for more money.)

Have opponents researched when a bond issue was passed before the 2000 bond issue? Probably not. Well, it was approved in 1974 for $30 million, which funded 41 projects. Between 1974 and 2000, the funds came from the capital outlay budget, and school officials did the best they could with what they had. They did not mismanage the 2000 bond issue. The needs were just too great.
(Actually, I have researched previous bond issues, this blog contains plenty of analysis of the 2000 bond issue with more to come.)

I think the groups that oppose the bond issue should stop trying to further their own agenda and try working for the students of USD 259.
(Again with the ad hominem attacks? Personally, I am more concerned with the 24% dropout rate than how to go about increasing property taxes.)

We need to ask ourselves not what our community can do for us, but what can we do for our community.
(JFK? Are you there? How about if we ask ourselves what the District Leadership can do to improve test scores and spend money in schools that really need help?)

I have no agenda. I am just a parent and friend of other parents who want our children to get a better education, become productive adults and have pride in their schools and community.
Park City

(Sorry Ms Wooldridge, people who write letters to the editor generally have an agenda. In this case, it is to get the bond issue passed.)

It is difficult to take Ms. Wooldridge or Dietz seriously when, instead of making a justification for the bond, they simply go into attack mode. The USD259 Board delayed the bond vote so CARE would have more time to "educate the public". If silly attacks against "bond opponents" is their best idea of how to educate the public, it would certainly explain the sad state of education in USD 259.

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