As of today, here is what the Howard County School System says* we can't afford:
- Adequate funds for materials of instruction
- Adequate number of para-educators
- Adequate support staff for special education students
- Adequate teaching staff to support reasonable class sizes
- Frequent and conveniently timed BOE meetings and time for public input
- A diversity coordinator
- Adequate support of students' IEP goals
Here is what they say we can afford:
- Increased MAP testing (in addition to PARCC testing)
- A privately contracted consultant to challenge the County's recent air quality report
- A brand new Public Relations magazine to be published online and in print
- A teacher recruitment advertising campaign on radio and online
- Continued costs of the Gallup Strengths Finder program
- Continued money to litigate against special education parents
Do you see priorities here? I do, and they're not student-centered.
The school system has been entrusted both with our children and our tax dollars. The community has every right to expect responsible stewardship. In crafting the County budget, the County Executive made funding for instruction a priority. The School System's response does not live up to his intent.
Checks and balances? Accountability? None.
*"says" either by word or in action.