Debate facts, suppress feelings

By From page A8 | March 19, 2013

It is hard to believe that changing grade configurations could cause such uproar. If I were a member of the school board charged with trying to spend tax dollars as efficiently as possible to get an excellent educational result for the children of Davis, I would want to know about any options that might help me with that objective.

I would want staff to compare our school district to others and give me information on how to keep our schools financially viable, provide a quality education and keep everyone happy.

Actually I was kidding about the last concern. If I were a school board member I wouldn’t care about keeping people happy. If there was a reasonable plan that could reconfigure grade levels, close a couple of schools, use the money savings to improve programs and increase the test scores of our kids, then that’s what I would do, even if it made a bunch of people mad.

If the comparison data showed that we are much better off keeping every school open, even with all the extra maintenance and administrative costs, and not change anything, then I would say “well, it look’s like we are going to need to raise everybody’s taxes again to pay for it.” Either way, somebody is going to be mad.

I would want the staff to bring me as much information as possible and have a lively debate over facts and not feelings, and then decide.

Mark Jonsson


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