Monday, October 28, 2013

For the Children

Tonight, I'm officially tendering my resignation from the East Penn School Board.

For 20 years, the East Penn community has been divided by a conflict between community heritage and progress.

This has been manifested in School Board election after election featuring candidates who stood "for the taxpayers" and candidates who stood "for the Children". Often "for the Children" candidates were/are little more than useful tools for the East Penn Education Association/Teacher's Union.

Those who have stood for the taxpayers, like me, have been relentlessly and maliciously demonized. That's ok. Politics is a bloodsport for nerds.

For now, I'll be bowing out of public life, spending time with my loved ones, and pursuing other endeavors. One day, I may re enter the political arena, but we'll see.

Let me just implore those currently sitting on the board, as well as those who will be seated after next week's election to finally pursue a middle way that will put an end to the war dividing the East Penn Community.

Join the 21st Century and webcast Board Meetings. John Donches has done an admirable community service by putting out videos of the meetings at his own expense but it is time for the East Penn School District to take responsibility and put out their own broadcasts of meetings.

Next year, put a referendum out that would include an adequate tax increase to decrease class sizes across the district to reasonable sizes. Elementary and middle school class sizes in particular are out of control. The entire East Penn School District should have this conversation as a community and ultimately, let the people decide. At any rate, any such tax increase will be far above and beyond what the state index would allow the board to do unilaterally. This has been long been the case and finally giving the public a vote on this contentious issue would remove it as something that could be demagogued in future elections.

Another referendum the community desperately needs is one that would allow the public to vote on increasing tax levels enough to eliminate "half-day" Wednesdays. This practice is hugely inconvenient to East Penn parents. It is a practice that the board could theoretically end by responsibly negotiating the next Union contract up in 2015, but since most of the Board owes the Union their seats, I remain skeptical that it will happen through negotiation.

For the children, for the future, and for the community, take these simple steps that will finally heal the bitter wounds of the past that run so deep through our School District. Continuing the status quo will only serve to further fracture and divide us.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.