From Your Hub March 18, 2015
by Laura McNamara
I am JUST a parent. A very concerned, frustrated parent. I am concerned about the changes across the country in public education and frustrated about the changes happening in Douglas County School District. Many things have caught my attention lately, but news of a Superintendents’ position statement really caught my eye. It was a plan asking that excess monies already collected in the state be used for our Colorado schools. What was significant was my superintendent DID NOT sign it despite the fact that 174 of 178 superintendents did.
There are 2 main reasons I disagree with Superintendent Fagen not signing this statement. First, our SCHOOLS need additional money (notice I said schools and not district). Recent district meetings have shown that DCSD has $275M in capital improvement needs, and the Board of Education has no plan to meet them. Some Board members have said that they will not go out for a bond on the ballot this fall, but no one really knows what they’re planning because half of the board’s meetings are closed sessions, with no public input. The second reason I disagree with Superintendent Fagen is because I think it is morally wrong not to support EVERY school, especially those that may have even less than we do. I will never understand the mentality of trying to be the best and in the process knocking others down; to me that is just another form of bullying. We should strive for all of Colorado’s schools being the best that they can be.
Those of you who spend hours of your time fundraising thousands for your school do you ever wonder where our per pupil revenue goes? How is the DISTRICT spending our money? One way was to hire a law firm to defend against a guilty verdict. In addition, they recently consulted with their attorney to decide how many open meetings they really needed to have. Another is to build a new charter school in Castle Rock. I am not against charters, but I’m not convinced that the district footing the bill for the building of new charters is the best use of our limited tax dollars when our current schools are suffering. Had any of these decisions been made in public, as they should be, maybe I’d have more confidence in them. But they weren’t.
I am JUST a parent who wants the best for my children’s education. I hope that if you are a parent, teacher or resident of Douglas County you will do your research and consider signing the petition stating that you disagree with Superintendent Fagen’s failure to sign the Superintendents’ Position Statement.