First I’ll start out with a link I noticed on a technology website (slashdot.org):
Ann Arbor Public Schools wants a “$45.8 million bond for technology improvements”. Wow.
The article itself is an interesting read. I am tempted to look a little more into it to see if they hold any kind of forums or “safe environment” to hash out the ideas. And just glimpsing at the many comments on the articles, there are lots of ideas. Most of them along the line of “NO!”
Don Kermath apparently has a website up for the Unit 4 petition to block the Board’s issuance of our relatively paltry $14.5 million working cash bond (according to WICD – can’t find the website at all). I am waiting to hear back from Don and the reporters for more information. Also, in light of recent conversations (note to self: still have to write up a blog post about Wednesday at Houlihans yesterday – good stuff), the Board will most likely only “need” a portion of that $14.5 – might even be closer to $10 million.
Reading the comments on the NG articles (1, 2), I think to myself, a bump in property taxes is not that big a deal in this particular case since I do believe the school district does need the money for these things. More importantly, I have heard from a couple teachers and parents on what a huge difference updated/upgraded facilities make on the learning environment. However, as much as I think Unit 4 should move forward with the modifications, I really have a problem with the total lack of community input. If Unit 4 wants to build bridges of trust, pursuing a working cash bond seems like the wrong direction. If, perhaps, Promises Made Promises Kept had a bigger community investment something like this might possibly fly, but with the huge schism we have now, I have my doubts if a referrendum would even pass in November.
Maybe what we need to do is convince Don to have a dual purpose; petition to block the working cash bonds, sure, but then also support the November referendum. I do not like the idea of encouraging the rift between the Board/Administration and the Community. From my point of view, it doesn’t matter who started it – that is water under the bridge. Dwelling on whom to blame does not progress us towards resolution.