Sunday, April 11, 2010

If You Don't Stand for Something, You Stand for Nothing

As we read the papers and watch television lately we are innudated with all of the negative news surrounding school budgets. Each story tells a tale about the philosophy and leadership styles of each of our communities in the county. One theme holds true for us and all of our neighbors, though, and that is the goal of reducing budgets while having the least impact on students. 

In some schools such as ours, the reductions will not impact student programs and services to a great extent next year.  In other districts this is just not possible. It should be understood that as school leaders we do not wake up in the morning and think of ways to reduce programs and staff. As school leaders we are charged with guiding our schools through good times and bad, and this is one of those bad times. 

While you as a reader may not care what toll these decisions are taking on the people making them, I can assure you that the stress caused is incredibly significant.  Whatever opinion one might have about a school leader in any given community, we are still human beings. My hope is that as things begin to turn around, the stress level will decrease. 

Many of you have also read about contracts being re-opened or contracts being negotiated with staff to try and save money. The same will hold for me as well. I intend to walk-the-walk, and I promised my groups that I would not accept a percentage raise greater than what any of our groups are getting. At the end of the day, it is the Board of Education that decides my compensation, but they understand my feelings. 

I was taught long ago that leading by example is more powerful than anything I could say.  I will continue to lead by example.

I will be attending another meeting regarding sales tax, and I will make sure to update you as soon as I return. This issue is significant and will affect us in a very negative way if we cannot retain some portion of what we have been receiving from the county. Your calls and e-mails to legislators about this issue are helpful and have had an impact.  Thank you.