Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Kicking Off The School Board Game

Scatter shooting while musing about the big game in ROISD... It's that time again...time for one of the big games in town. Several Red Oak ISD board positions are up for grabs and the stakes are getting higher to attract and motivate our community to put the best persons into board positions.

The traditional campaign "season" is usually quite sedate in Red Oak ISD. This year is proving to be yet another volume in the same series.

Campaign issues usually revolve around improving student performance, improving and expanding district facilities and infrastructure, and playing down some of the more potentially volatile issues such as a huge amount of bonded indebtedness, reduction in force (layoffs), and a lack of public knowledge about the actions of and stance on these issues by current and potential board members. I find this lack of public knowledge a little strange in lieu of the recent personnel issues (firings in the police and technology instruction areas), multiple sets of personnel layoffs, the sudden and not so public decision to purchase land for the new high school, and a very recent public posting of a huge request for proposal for technology purchases utilizing bond money.

I'm not complaining about these issues but am wondering where and why the candidates are not talking about them either in the newspapers, letters to the editor, in the "blogosphere"?

I read Ms. Lozano's letter to the Waxahachie Daily Light with interest since she is related to the incumbent board member by marriage. She touts the giving away of $40,000 in Educational Foundation "grants". Congratulations to the winners. They deserved every penny. It's a pity that they didn't receive the funds to be innovative as a part of their regular school's budget and money had to be "found" through the Foundation to promote instructional innovation. Again, hats off to the Foundation for busting a gut to raise the money and hats off to the teachers that earned the funding. Ms. Lozano exalts us to take another look at ROISD. I wonder if that letter represents actually the campaign foundation for Mr. Lozano instead and perchance the bedrocks of the other campaigns as well? It doesn't take a rocket scientist or Dick Morris, conservative political talking head on Fox News Network, to see that the main issues for any non-incumbent candidate in this election will be a perceived lack of experience in board functions, a lack of a record to fall back upon and a public perception that our money is being well spent. As you know, it's for the kids right?

I'm going to call it like I see it....this letter to the editor was a "homer letter", a nice, non threatening way to get the word out to vote for the folks that brought you that 30 year- 95million dollar bonded indebtedness, reductions in force (layoffs), and a revolving door administration.

I'll be taking a closer look at all the candidates and asking the harder questions here and in the news "rags". This is going to be a fun ride for the next few weeks.

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