With the exception of Commissioner Willa Powell, who was absent, all School Board Commissioners voted “yes” to approve the 2013-14 Rochester City School budget with the caveat that it can be “worked on” throughout the coming year.
Commissioner White passionately championed offering the Freedom School model at School #17, his amendment to add three support positions along with $120,000 to start the program was voted down, 4-2, White and Adams voting yes.
Commissioner Adams championed an amendment that would shift Title 1 funds from providing eleven technical assistants to teach teachers how to use white boards, which the district has been doing at Hart Street since the late nineties, to supporting our children with the counseling services they may need to transition from a community based support system to a district support system. Also voted down.
The rationale, the community organizations were there to train our staff which has been done. Unfortunately, in too many cases, there was no staff to train and the community organizations became the only counseling services our children received.
If there was any question whether the budget was going to pass or not, there shouldn’t have been. With the same individuals in the same positions, the decisions will be the same.
For too many years we have waited for our elected officials to actually speak with our voice, the voice of the community.
It is evident that the only voice of the School Board is that of corporate interests. Making sure that the grant money continues to flow at the cost of our children’s educational success should not be the vision of this district or its leaders.
It is time for the Rochester community to become active in making sure that the people we elect to represent our voice, to provide an excellent education to our children, have the educational success of our children, as their goal.
Our children deserve educational leaders who are willing to stand against the intimidation of corporate funding and vote to provide them with an excellent education.
Money is not the problem, what our leaders do with the money is.
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