BOE tomorrow night - new school year, new concerns!

This year my schedule - rather, my daughter's schedule - makes it difficult for me to attend Board of Ed meetings. Will you join me tomorrow night?

I have lots of items I could bring up. Some are regular themes like large class sizes and worsening communication since the "greening of the district", and the hope for improvement in BOE's and BREA's negotiation skills as they work out the new teachers' contract. I'm also miffed that the entire 7th grade missed 2 classes to attend a rally on selling magazines. Really is that good time management?? It's a building issue, but shouldn't the BOE know about this kinds of stuff? (My friends have complained a potpourri of concerns including: the cost vs. benefit of the 7th grade environmental trip, the fact that parents weren't informed that they need to update their e-blast profile when their kids change schools, and the perennial favorite: busing problems- but I'll let them voice their own concerns. They know where the Wade Building is.)

My issue du jour:
The district is about to get an influx of $398,882 . I want to tell the BOE to return these funds to the classroom by- not spend it on extra-curriculars! The mycentraljersey.com blogger Dick Bergeron was nice enough to write a blog entry outlining the restrictions attached to these funds after I posted a comment. Apparently there are few restrictions to the funds, making it easier for it to become a non-academic slush fund. The BOE has a tendency to appease sports groups serving very small numbers of kids, while forgetting that most people want money to go to the classrooms where kids are getting their educations. Here is my plea in a nutshell: hire back as many CLASSROOM TEACHERS as you can because it is the easiest way to improve the state of our schools. More teachers = better teacher/student ratios = more attention to each child's needs.

There are always issues to bring to the board's attention, but the best strategy is to keep it simple. One thought per meeting and avoid long, detailed speeches that the BOE largely ignores. A united front helps but historically has not always swayed votes. For me, tomorrow's meeting is about spending the new funds. There are plenty of others to bring forth.

I'll be there - with knitting in hand!

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