Jordan School District Board Wears Earplugs to Public Comments

My wife and I attended the first part of the public hearing at Riverton High School for the Jordan School Districts “Truth” in Taxation Meeting.  And the Jordan School District wasn’t holding the meeting to hear our opinions.  They were holding it because they were required by law.

I don’t wish to deal with minutia on this matter, but it was amazing how little “information” they seemed interested in sharing.  First of all, for almost half of the slides that were presented at the beginning of the meeting the font was so small that you needed binoculars in order to read them. (On a funny aside, I almost brought my binoculars as a joke; I now wish that I had).

Also, during the presentation there was a lot of accountant speak.  Okay maybe that is to be expected, but a lot of it sure went over my head.  I am glad that one of those who voiced his opinion during the comment section understood it.  Because he basically called them to the table and said that they shouldn’t be funding certain areas in economically trying times.

Further, it seemed that the only numbers that were shared were numbers that made it look good.  I don’t have the time to do all the investigating, but I know a statistic snow job when I see one, and I am pretty sure that I saw one last night.

Besides the unwillingness to share accurate and informative information, there was a solid sense that this board was not willing to change.  Their minds are made up, and they refuse to give in.  This is the part where the main stream Utah media didn’t cover.

Perhaps, the biggest shocker of the evening came, when Barry Newbold (Jordan School District Superintendent) publically admitted that he would not petition the School Board for a reduction in his salary.  While only a minute drop in the budget deficit, if he even rounded his salary down to $200,000, that could help the budget more than $34,000 dollars.  The same goes for the rest of the board.  This could result in almost $300,000 in savings.

The biggest message that the board didn’t hear was that the people want administration cuts.  This is apparent by the fact that they raised taxes more than they cut expenses.  And according to a Dan Jones survey, cutting administration was bigger on the constituency desires than was tax hikes.

During the comment period, many great ideas were suggested by the public.  Suggestions that might not save the entire budget, but items that would definitely help.  Things like encouraging volunteerism at the school (on all levels, cleaning toilets to teacher’s aids).  Reducing the salary of uncertified substitute teachers.  Using technology to reduce class size and reach more students.  And many more great suggestions were made.

But over all, it was obvious, that the Jordan School District was holding this meeting with only one thing in mind.  They had to hold the comment period according to law.  They didn’t want to hear the over 200 people who signed up to comment, they had to.

As of this typing, it is apparent that the Jordan School District will pass it’s tax increase.  Because they haven’t gotten the picture that the people are painting for them.  However, they will get the picture at the next election cycle, because they are representing us to the schools.  They are representing the schools to us, and they have it wrong.

Possibly Related Posts:

  • Delicious
  • Facebook
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter

4 comments to Jordan School District Board Wears Earplugs to Public Comments

  • A great article. My sister went to that meeting, too, and has been ranting about how ridiculous so many people running the district are being. I only graduated a few months ago (I’m so glad to be free of this decaying education system), so I’m not the most informed, but I still have a vested interest in the future of it. From what I already knew and from what my sister is saying, this entire district thing is such a garbagey mess that its repercussions are going to be felt for decades to come. Anyway, it was good to read your writing. I’ll come back from time to time.

  • […] Utah’s Arch. The author also went to the district meeting, and he says it all pretty well in his latest post; he probably has a much better understanding of the situation than I do as he’s a home owner, […]

  • Just as an update on this. The vote has been put off until Tuesday Aug 6th at 7:00pm. I am sure that this was done so that less people would be there. However, we need to have more people there. We need to put the pressure on hard. If less people are there, then they will pass this thing and do it silently. If more are there, they will pass it anyway, but at least they will know we disapprove.

  • Ban Homework

    Ban Homework – join students of all ages from around the world and help
    fight in the war against homework.

    Finally a site has come about that has a professional outlook on finally
    setting up a petition against the well hated nasty thing labeled Homework.
    BanHomework is a great site where students can unite together and join
    hands in fighting the war against homework.

    No Homework, Homework Ban, Homework, Education, ban,
    homework, home, work, study, petition, forums, community, stress, time

    So do your part and visit and sign the petition.

Leave a Reply