3. What is your solution for the 2015 budget after the referendum expires?
Without the recent referendum our schools would be operating at a significant deficit. Not long ago our schools had surplus. I would be a better steward, I would reduce capital expenditures unless they are mission critical to educating our students. We need to use current facilities to the extent we can. We need to evaluate all vendor contracts, such as the energy contract that is not the optimal energy saving solution. The termination of such contracts (even after termination penalties) would result in positive cash flow to the schools. We need to continue to work with the state to get the funding formula changed and we need to explore additional revenue sources for the schools.
Another referendum will be difficult to pass with the same leadership. With new leadership and a plan to wean ourselves from future referendums the community would support the board again.
4. As a school board member, how would you ensure the schools maintain a standard of excellence?
Excellence is achieved by high quality teachers and a healthy school corporation. It is imperative that we get our financial house in order so that we can offer programs to students at all levels. We must maintain a wide variety of curricula including the arts. We must also have educational opportunities for students who have trouble learning. We can not overlook the academically challenged.
Our students are great learners because they come from strong families that understand the value of an education. They are great because we have teachers in our schools that are passionate about children and even more passionate about educating them.
The success of the schools is contingent upon sound operations and fiscal responsibility. The Rainy Day Fund will be nearly extinguished. We need to better stewards of our resources. We need a new perspective. I offer a fresh new perspective.