May 1, 2019
East Williston School District (EWSD) residents are annually requested to vote on a school budget and this year is no exception. Each voting member of the community will have an opportunity to either vote for or against the budget. Every parent, every senior, every taxpayer, and every youngster of voting age should consider voting NO on the budget. Why? The same two reasons I mention every year at this time: waste and senior citizen exploitation. From my perspective, this District does not care about the seniors, but for goodness sake, you would think they would do something about the waste.
The EWSD continues to do damage to our community with both excessive waste (particularly at the administration level) and indifference toward the taxpayer (particularly with seniors). Increasing numbers of incoming high school students are opting out of Wheatley in favor of private schools. This “migration” has gone uncontested by the Board-perhaps for good reason. Unfortunately, there is little to no accountability at Wheatley. To further exacerbate this point, the EWSD teachers count has increased despite the drop in enrollment.
It is important for both parents and educators to understand from an educational perspective that the landscape has changed. My experience suggests that today’s students leave high school more aware of what they want to do and what they hope to accomplish in the future. Nobody I know feels the EWSD is doing enough to adjust to this change. The mode of delivery of education is changing, and changing at a near exponential rate, at all levels – and the EWSD has not attempted to adopt to these changes. I have been involved with several programs that have reduced or essentially eliminated the need for teachers. The recently approved 5-year STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics) Program were only words in a written document. Today’s educators need to guide students to develop into lifelong learners. Students must acquire the knowledge and critical-thinking capabilities that prepare them to continually learn new skills for a future few, if any, can predict. In effect, educators must respond to a changing world, implementing creative, student-centered solutions. It’s all about teaching kids to use their minds so that they will have imagination to respond to many changing circumstances in the world. This approach can expand the world for students beyond the classroom, giving them access to resources, ideas and glimpses into cultures that they may not have opportunities to explore. Technology is a bit part of that. It’s not about whether or not to include technology in education anymore; it’s about how to do it in the best, most engaging and inspiring ways to support the desired learning outcomes. Anyone really believe the EWSD is capable to accomplishing this? Most have come to realize that the District is very slow to change.
Taxpayers are also concerned about the rising cost of education. If there are things that can be done differently to provide the quality necessary, this should be figured out. Unfortunately I really don’t think they are capable.
And where does the PTO fit into all of this? Forgive me, but it would be more appropriate to refer to them as TO since they do not represent the parents and their children. As I’ve said in the past, this is unfortunately an organization whose members are just uninformed, or lacking intelligence, or educator/teacher ideologs, or some combination of the three. Not a healthy situation. Many of the uniformed parents refuse to accept that the self-serving EWSD board, the teachers, the PTA, etc., have failed and betrayed both the students and the community. The turnaround will come when the community comes to realize that Board members – in almost every instance – are there for self-serving purposes. If they really cared about all the kids – not only their own, they would not move on once they have graduated. Board Trustees generally stay as long as they have children in schools…and the silently scoot out. They really aren’t that much different than the parents involved in the recent college admission bribery scam — parents looking to gain an advantage for their children at the expense of others. Think about past Board members who were so vociferous and outspoken about defending the status quo … a status quo that has resulted in higher taxes and decrease in the quality of education.
Finally, and as noted above, our taxes are too high because of excess spending that is educationally unnecessary. This waste is harming real estate values. Simple actions, which can positively affect our community, are opposed by the teachers, the administrators, the present illegitimate Board, the self-serving PTO officers, and many of the misinformed (thanks to the PTO leadership) PTO members.
The bottom line: It’s OK to vote NO on the budget. Don’t be a glutton for punishment. Stop being taken for a fool. Stop being an enabler for the EXPLOITERS on the Board and some PTO officers.
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