Education is so important to living a satisfying and contented life, yet a governmental institution charged with imparting this quality to our children that is so stuck in the same old tired way of doing things should not be enable to keep practicing 'the same old tired way of doing things'.
Parents and students may have to struggle a little bit more by deciding to not give the educrats at the Jeffco school district a cash infusion; but perhaps a rebuke by taxpayers will tell the insiders on the Board of Education and the long-in-the-tooth superintendent that the time for real change is finally at hand.
Before we give them any more money, taxpayers should look to see movement towards real change: the Jeffco school board could pass a resolution to state and federal representatives voicing opposition to high stakes standardized testing; they could direct its legal team to find whatever ways might exist to curtail and/or minimize the current extent of standardized testing; they could move towards a policy of freeing teachers from the constraints of micromanaged state and federal curriculum mandates, and re-empowering teacher to be more creative within their classrooms. On the fiscal side, the board could explore privatizing competitive varsity sports to companies that could, for example, lease fields and courts from the district, but run those programs in cooperation with, yet independent of the schools.
There are many bold, creative ways to finally get our education system on track to impart real learning, knowledge and experience to our kids, but apparently the Jeffco district wants more money to simply prop-up the 'reform' status quo that has demonstrably failed.
Now, it would also be a positive development if for once teachers would make common cause with parents and concerned taxpayers to demand from the education establishment in Jefferson County the kinds of innovations that would benefit everyone (except the insiders and their corporate sponsors). As a supporter of the labor union concept it pains me to observe, however, that the teachers' union here tends to be as stuck in the mud of the past as the school board.
Perhaps a dedicated opposition to this proposed tax hike will develop and articulate why a more futuristic, fundamental restructuring is essential before hard-pressed working class Jefferson County residents should vote to give-up more money to Jeffco schools. [Revised June 14, 2012]