Educational Insights 3.10.2014
Educational Insights 3.10.2014
Posted on 03/10/2014

·       Each year there are more attempts to take away authority of local school boards and those patrons who elect them. This bill would force schools to make decisions that can already be made locally should they choose to do so. I am concerned about this loss of local control. Schools that wish to expand their curriculum via distance learning currently have that option available to them and many are already doing so.

·       Schools already often collaborate to generate the school calendar and course schedules for the following year. This is a very time consuming process and would be increasingly difficult for an “allied system” especially when there is no guarantee for additional opportunities once the work is done.

·       Schools build class schedules based on their students’ priorities. Being forced into a common schedule with other schools could conceivably limit the number of desired courses students could take.

·       This is an unfunded mandate that in the end will ensure added time and effort on the part of school districts, with no guarantee for expanded course offerings or curriculum beyond what school districts are already willing and able to share. There is no promise of property tax reduction with the passage of this bill.

 

Based on the concerns above, I am in opposition of this bill. I oppose this bill while understanding that there is tremendous diversity among our school districts in NE. The course offerings in our smaller schools might not emulate those in larger districts across this state, yet smaller schools experience benefits larger schools across the state may not realize in terms of class size and relationships with students and their families. Beyond what is already required in NDE rule and statute, I believe local schools need the freedom to decide what their priorities are and which of those they are willing and able to fund.

 

I would encourage local patrons to contact our local Senator (Ken Schilz, kschilz@leg.ne.gov) with their opinions in regard to this bill and the lack of need to impose additional unnecessary mandates on school districts, with no guarantee of lowering taxes or improving our district’s course offerings.

 

-Dr. Paula Sissel

psissel@gceagles.org

Garden County Schools

Superintendent/Elementary Principal

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