Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Sounds Good, but Is That a Train Coming?

School Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson's presentation to the CCSD this week was very serious in its rhetoric regarding progress and/or the lack of it in the district. The facts remain that more than half of the schools in the district are rated below average, and true graduation rates are a joke. If the plan is implemented the way she says it will be, the schools WILL improve. Still, one must wonder after the fiasco with Burke High School and its years-long failure to improve, leading to near-takeover by the state last summer.

Yet improvement may be on a tighter budget than CCSD would wish. As the Superintendent says,
"School finances will be a serious concern because of a new state law that changes the way school districts receive funds, she said. The law ends fiscal autonomy for districts, and while district revenue likely will stay steady, operational costs will continue to rise, she said.

"This means that we will likely have a significant budget shortfall to contend with in the coming months," she said.

In that case, those finances SHOULD BE a "serious concern" right now. Presumably someone at CCSD (Financial Officer Don Kennedy?) is in the process of deciding how the district will cope with a shortfall; yet the Superintendent was purposely vague on this account. Let's hope that vagueness doesn't indicate lack of foresight.

We all hope that light at the end of the tunnel isn't headed into a wreck!

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