Farm Bureau made its position clear -- just like Tea Party supporters -- no more taxes. The vote in the rural area of the county made that perfectly clear.
Kid yourself all you want. Once again we fall further behind. Average prevails.
One of the organizers and supporters of the PAC that was formed to oppose the referendum asked me to post her response to you River City Kid. I might add that I wholeheartedly agree with her. This is NOT about "average" at all. People who care about education know that buildings do not educate our children -- teachers do. Here is her response:
As one of the people that helped organize the opposition, I will tell you that you are clueless if you believe the people of Clark County do not care about education. There were many reasons the referendum was doomed but not caring about education was not one of them. People are fed up with throwing money at the problems. It isn't working and new buildings won't make it any better.
The students and staff need safe buildings but they don't need to be “perfect” buildings. It would be wonderful if all schools were modern and new but that still won't educate the children. The administration has in no way shown that they have taken care of the necessary maintenance on the existing buildings, so there is no reason to believe newer ones would be any different.
It isn't buildings the students and staff need, it's a superintendent and board that will stand up and say “ENOUGH ! We are going to start backing our teachers”.
Two years ago an elementary school in the system had 30 kindergarten students per class … can you even begin to comprehend how difficult that must have been? I've been told there are 16 teachers covering NW middle school AND high school... can you comprehend that? Do you think a new building would make it all better? Will that really make the teachers better at educating? They need help. They need smaller classes. They need less useless paperwork. They need time. They need management to support them, not keep asking for more and more from them.
I'm not sure where the idea that new will make it all better came from. I worked in the OPTIONS Alternative School – part of the OLD Jeff High. I was the GED instructor. There was also 2 middle school classes and 4 high school classes. Our building was very old but it served it's purpose. It was a place the students felt welcomed, accepted and cared for. The staff felt supported by our Principal and in return we supported him - we were blessed that the admin seldom bothered us. That old building was the epitome of education. A newer more modern building would have been nice but it did not stop us from educating the students that came through our doors.
We had what the other schools did not have – small classes – nobody micromanaging us – a supportive principal that didn't weigh us down with paperwork and numbers and the freedom to use our God given talent for teaching. That sir, is what the teachers and students need most. Giving Andy Melin a blank check will fix nothing. Talk to a few teachers and ask them what they need to be successful, I doubt you will hear “a new building”. Our teachers are educated – they are in those rooms with students all day and they KNOW what will work and what will not.
The changes need to come from the top down. The waste has to stop. Retire / rehire needs to stop. Filling principal positions from within needs to be a priority. Firing teachers for crimes that are quietly accepted when it is a board member has to stop. The staff sees the favors and the waste at the administration building and they resent it since they are constantly being asked to do more with less. To be honest, I'm not sure anything less that a complete restructuring at the administration bldg, and a new board, will fix the mess the system is in. A majority of voters obviously do not trust or respect them and from the conversations I have had – many teachers don't either.
If you think this vote was just about money and that the good people of Clark County do not care about education – you are dead wrong. If it was just the money the admin could overcome that. It is also about trust, honesty, and respect – I don't believe they can overcome that. I talked to MANY teachers that publicly supported the referendum but privately worked as hard as I did to defeat it. They are intelligent enough to know that what was planned would not fix anything. Change is difficult – but it has to come or Andy may have a complete revolt on his hands soon. His staff is fed up....cheri blevins