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Lack of information leads to failure in our schools

I feel this topic is vital to communication in our community. Our district has issued a printed newspaper to better communicate, but I feel they are not being genuine in transparency.

At last night’s district school board meeting (June 12) the board approved $100,000 of Title 1 funding for a position of a trainer, which was not explained when questioned by Mr. McIntyre, and Mr. Lile answered that the board needed to approve the funds before the district administrators could plan and then they would explain.

Could this be another six-digit paying position created for a friend, family member, or friend of a friend as our district is in the habit of doing?

This is another administrative position to add to the already over-staffed superintendent’s cabinet of directors and supposed leaders and trainers.

If they were to be held accountable to fulfill their duties of position efficiently and effectively then our school district would not be failing overall. The district touts successes such as graduation rates, but does not elaborate on the actual academic achievements of the majority of these graduating students. They cannot perform in English or math, and have not been prepared educationally for higher schooling.

The overall dashboard account is what I am referring to.

I find this to be a habit of approvals for funding with no accountability from laid out plans in place. The board trusts hundreds of millions of dollars on the assumption that district administrators and the superintendent will be held accountable for what they are approving. How can you be held accountable for funds for something that was not clearly laid out and explained?

To what are you held accountable?

Who runs their business in such a way? How is the community to understand what is being funded?

When I asked to meet to discuss so that I can understand this project-based “middle school,” the superintendent’s office turns me away, saying they have not even made the board aware of what I am asking for.

I am a member of the parent advisory committee created to give feedback to our board on the Local Control Funding Plan.

How can I do that if the district administrators lack answers to our questions and turn us away?

This is not engaging parents nor is it building bridges in our community.

The school board continues to move forward in approving funds and asking the community to approve bonds to fund a facility to house a program that the district superintendent and administrators cannot or will not explain in fully laid out plans.

How is this financially sound and effective for our district?

The district feels no need to have to explain how they are spending our money.

The district is planning a Project Based Educational Program for only 8th graders and they call it a concurrent middle school. The facility to be built will not be sufficient to stand alone or able to function as a sole middle school.

The district will incur cost of construction, staffing and transportation — at whose expense?

The money to build this facility to house this program is expected to be funded through bonds that have not even been approved by our community.

The facility will not serve as advanced learning and the acceptance of applicants is to be determined by a lottery. Not every 8th grader will get the opportunity to utilize the school, so what is the point?

Project Based Learning should be happening at all school sites. Why can’t we utilize our existing school sites and use the projected funds to improve facilities, provide better training for teachers, hire teacher aides, fund classrooms to help our teachers provide a more disciplined learning environment for our students? To achieve success at existing sites rather than add another facility and continue to fail.

“Highest Student Achievement in an Orderly Learning Environment.”

Isn’t that part of the district’s mission statement?

The hired consultant, Dr. Debra Benitez, clearly explained her findings and recommendations for our Special Ed Services Department. As the board heard, there is grave miscommunication and lack of teacher support from our district administrative staff. I tell you this is not only in our Special Ed Department, but throughout our district as a whole. Our district administrators fail to provide proper training, policies, and procedures, roles and responsibilities.

When these are provided they are senseless and in vain if not utilized, or if staff is not held accountable.

We want a school district that will provide for better education of our school children and not be self-serving. Our school sites need help to achieve and our administrators need to provide better support for our teachers in the classrooms.

I am glad to hear our board members ask more questions and voice concerns. I hope that each of our board members is comfortable in not always voting unanimously to pass an item. We as a community need to have explanation of what is being funded. We cannot continue to have wasteful spending and failing schools. We want to see accountability. I ask that each member of the board consider our teachers and students and how your vote will help in their classroom education and district achievement overall.

— Eva Ceja,


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