Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Still world class?

As loyal readers to this page know, I've become more involved in the educational system and the sausage-making of our Howard County school budget. And it IS sausage-making. Ugly.

Today, the Board of Education, a group I'm increasingly disenchanted with, voted to ignore the voices of the Howard County community and cut more than 60 paraeducator positions. They would say they're being "reallocated," but that's coded language. And for those of you who say, Hey KC, there was an election in November - I don't remember any candidate saying they wanted to cut dozens of jobs for a growing school district. Maybe I was focused on other things, but that doesn't ring a bell. Secondly, part of the Board was not up for election in November.

These cuts affect ALL children. If kindergarten has 4 teachers for 80 kids, 1 paraeducator makes the ratio fall from 20:1 to 16:1. That's a major difference, loyal readers! In high school, cutting the media service staff will prevent kids from getting research help in an everchanging environment. There are new tools and resources every year and trying to find the right one is frustrating. '

What can you do?

Thank heavens that the Board is NOT the final say on the budget. Or thank the county's previous legislators. The budget CAN be changed before it's implemented!

Send emails to County Executive Allan Kittleman, find your County Council member here, and contact them.

Interested in learning more? And having pizza too??? Here's some information from the dedicated team of the HCEA:

"Please join HCEA for an open community meeting on Tuesday, March 3rd, 5PM in the Centennial HS cafeteria.  We will clarify the impact of the cuts and develop strategy for the next part of the process.  RSVP here to give us an idea of how much pizza we need!"

If you want to sustain, at the very least, the impressive school system we have, please find a way to advocate for our kids. Even if you don't have kids, your opinion can still make a difference.

Thanks for listening!

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