Ever have one of those days that reinforces your decision to take a risk? Today was one of those for me.
A friend with two children in another part of the county invited me over to speak to her friends about my candidacy. Within a few minutes, I heard something that greatly distressed me.
But rewind to about this time a year ago:
Part of my interest in running for the Board of Education came from my work on the Citizens’ Operating Budget Review Committee last winter/spring (a committee put on hiatus by the Board of Education). One specific budget item dealt with the cuts to kindergarten paraeducators. I’d spent time in my daughter’s classroom enough to know the importance of these educational staff. Small group breakouts, getting materials ready, helping kids with activities, making sure they have lunch, etc. – there is a variety of things they do to assist educators.
At this particular school, they are dealing with staff shortages by using parent volunteers. First of all, let me say that every parent should try to volunteer in some manner at their children’s school. Volunteering gets you an inside glimpse of the school and creates a rapport between staff and parents.
But there’s a difference between volunteering and filling staffing gaps. I used to have a discussion with a former HCPSS teacher about how I was the parent making trips to and from the system print shop. If educational staff need materials printed for educational reasons, then shouldn’t there be provisions for transporting them? (I stopped doing this about two years ago and the system had begun returning finished projects to the school, but still asked for a volunteer to deliver projects to the shop.)
We all know how high our property and income taxes are. And I believe nice things cost money. I’m so glad there are dedicated parents helping out our schools, but… why do we need so many parents to help out our schools?
Our budget is not prioritizing the classroom.