I ran to bring fiscal responsibility to the Board.We have balanced our budget.Should our financial situation dramatically improve and lower amounts are needed, I will consider it at that time.However, it is critical that we utilize these dollars in 2013 and to suggest that the budget can be balanced without referendum dollars and without laying off teachers does not reflect reality.Our schools are recovering from devastating cuts and we have begun the path to restoration—let’s not go back.
- What is your solution for the 2015 budget after the referendum expires?
I have a plan:1) more equitable funding from the state, 2) refinance 2005 bonds, and 3) additional public-private revenue partnerships.
Our proposal with state leaders will reward high performing schools like ZCS.We unfairly receive the lowest amount of state dollars per pupil of all public schools in the state.We also are one of the fastest enrollment growing schools too—an increase of 195 students from last year.This proposal could bring over $1.1 million to ZCS.
In 2015 we will again be able to refinance the 2005 bond issues which will be nearly 60% of all debt then for a significant savings to ZCS.Additionally, the cost cutting efforts that we began in 2008 will continue.Finally, I helped lead some of the new creative revenue initiatives from private partnerships such as the St. Vincent’s partnership, which has brought significant dollars and value to ZCS.
- As a school board member, how would you ensure the schools maintain a standard of excellence?
My work on the board and as a former teacher has further developed my fundamental belief that the key to success continues to be parental involvement and teacher quality.Now that we are on a path to restoration and class sizes have been reduced, the stress that we felt in recent years has decreased.With the rapid changes in technology and learning, teachers must quickly adapt to new teaching methods that are now designed to help our student compete in a global economy.To continue to succeed, we need to insure that we have the resources and talent to educate our children so they can compete in this global economy.I believe that finding and cultivating talented teachers will be a critical factor in maintaining our standard of excellence for our district schools.