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Janese Heavin at The Columbia Tribune has a shocking report on the Missouri School Board Association’s annual forum in Jefferson City in today’s Homeroom Blog. The report states that keynote speakers at yesterday’s forum essentially advised school board members and administrators to keep parents and the community in the dark on budgetary issues and when advocating for tax increases. According to the report, “Independence Superintendent Jim Hinson even praised his school board for not paying close attention to the district’s spending habits.”
The cheer leading for a lack of transparency didn’t end there. In addition, Patron Insights consultant Rick Nobles urged school leaders to be vague when trying to get voters to approve bond issues or tax increases. The report on Homeroom states Nobles suggested that “rather than telling district patrons that bond money would be used to add six classes, tell them the money would ease overcrowding. Patrons just don’t want to be beat over the head with details…” And to top it off the report also says that Nobles’ advised attendees “Don’t tell voters “it’s for the children,” he said. “That doesn’t pull heartstrings the way you think it will.”
WOW! Is there any wonder why voters rejected a 54- cent levy increase. When administrators and associated consultants have this approach to the communities that they are hired to serve we are all in trouble. It is time to wipe away this attitude in education and institute strong reforms now!
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