Three things I believe: Educational Excellence - Sensible Spending - School Safety
Our schools have done a great job, getting student scores into the 90% range for reading and writing proficiency. I like the direction we are going, partnering with Heartland Community College, letting students earn high school and college credits at the same time (‘dual credit’ program). I will push to expand the courses offered. (lets try video conferencing to allow classes that currently are under-enrolled) More college level courses challenges our kids academically and better prepares them for the future.
Innovative programs like Focused Algebra and Focused Geometry will give at risk kids a better shot at mastering educational concepts. We should push to try and learn from new ways to use technology. -the 'flipped' classroom concept - online learning.
Reaching the best possible educational outcome for all students is our goal.
Our state is a financial basket case. We are in the middle of a large contentious budget debate and no one knows how much money will be allocated. Even if K-12 education gets money, the allocation formulas may change hurting many of our local schools.
It's not the easy or popular message, but now is the time to be conservative and live within our means. We live in challenging times but challenging times give us the opportunity to work together improving our schools. Things will shake out in the next year and we will have a much better idea of what direction to go.
The good news on school safety is that everyone is aware of it. Improvements in controlling unauthorized access, increasing awareness, mock evacuations, and improvements in physical security enjoy virtually unanimous support. Unit 5 has done a lot to improve safety and we need to keep it as a priority even when it's not the top item on the nightly news.