Here's what we know:
The HCPSS budget survey was unethical, inaccurate, and manipulative.
The response to the survey was 1,104: 171 employees-only, 93 employee/parent and 748 parent-only. (We know employees were threatened and coerced to take part.)
HCPSS sent out a press-release style announcement which was big on spin, short on facts, and hailed the public response as "unprecedented."
Give me a break. More people engaged in The People's Voice petition asking that the Board not renew the Superintendent's Contract.
In short, the warning "don't take the survey, it's a trap" was completely justified.
Who believes all this stuff? Central Office, perhaps, and members of the public who don't follow the school system and think it's safe to believe what they send out. They should be able to. We all should we able to. Sadly, that's not the case.
Who doesn't believe all this stuff? The County Executive and the County Council. Yesterday was the deadline for the Council to respond to HCPSS demands for more money. From HoCoTimes reporter Fatimah Waseem:
No amendments have been prefiled from the #hocomd council to change school budget thus far. Deadline was 2 pm.
@HoCoGov administration does not plan on further increasing @HCPSS budget. Story to follow. #hocomd
The HCPSS public relations machine is working overtime, but the one thing they are not able to do is convince us of things that we know to be false. A parent remarked yesterday, in reference to the sample size of the survey:
There are approximately 57,000 students in the system. Assuming 1.5 parents per household, and the total number of parents who responded, this represents less than 1% of the population. The survey was flawed, HCPSS knows it, yet they are still flouting these numbers as if they have made some kind of major accomplishment. Want a better statistic? Of approximately 255,000 votes for the board of education spots in the primary election, 75% voted for anyone other than the three incumbents who were up for reelection. This is not a stupid population HCPSS is serving.
Extra, extra! Read all about it!
This is not a stupid population HCPSS is serving.
Keep up the good work, Howard County people. Keep supporting our students, our teachers, and Howard County Government as they negotiate this complicated and treacherous issue on our behalf.
Let the PR machine spin its wheels. We know better.