3. What is your solution for the 2015 budget after the referendum expires?
After cost cutting for five years there are no simple solutions. When selecting the term of the referendum we chose 2015 to coincide with an option to refinance 60% of our bonds at that time. This will free up space in our property tax supported funds. These dollars can be used to fund other portions of the budget such as technology and maintenance that are taking dollars from the classroom. Any solution has to include an increase in state funding. I have been talking with legislators about a more equitable funding formula. Even a restoration of the overall cut to school funding that occurred during the economic crisis would bring $3 million back to Zionsville without a formula change. Additional sources of earned revenue for day care and rental can be generated as well as increasing donations and grants. Coupled with additional targeted spending cuts we can solve this problem.
4. As a school board member, how would you ensure the schools maintain a standard of excellence?
The world is getting more complicated every day. The global competition this generation faces is unprecedented. The key to individual and collective success is to receive an outstanding education. This can only happen if the school board meets its responsibility to: (1) provide adequate funding for facilities and staff, (2) provide long range strategic guidance to the administration, (3) thoughtfully select and evaluate the superintendents performance (4) challenge and support the administration, teachers and staff to excel at their jobs and (5) recognize the role of the board to set policy but allow our employees to do their jobs without undue interference. We are fortunate in Zionsville. We are arguably the premier school district in the state. Several years ago, the board set the goal of being a premier district in the country. If the board takes the responsibilities outlined above seriously, I think we will reach that goal.