Thursday, May 07, 2009

Nip it. Nip it in the bud

Because they've done such a good job at picking BOE members and Superintendents the Chamber now wants to facilitate consideration of the BOE having taxing authority. Who didn't know this conversation was going to be renewed in this era of tight budgets, property reassessments and the unquenchable MNPS budget 'needs'?

Education 2020 Speaker Series As Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) continues to struggle to meet the rising benchmarks of No Child Left Behind, Nashville must have a governance system that aligns the day-to-day responsibility of running our schools with clear accountability for results. With the governance of MNPS currently being shared among the school board, director of schools, mayor and the state of Tennessee, there is a pressing need for community discussion about governance reform. Please join us for a panel discussion exploring the possibility of allowing the Metro School Board to control its own budget by having its own taxing authority.

Julia Bernath, vice chair, Board of Education, Fulton County, Georgia
Kent McNish, board member, Franklin Special School District
Stephen Smith, assistant executive director, Tennessee School Board Association Alvin Wilbanks, superintendent, Gwinnett County, Georgia

Let's start with the fact that once the BOE gets more than 1/3rd of the Metro Budget...they pretty much have carte blanche over how it's spent. They've already got control. And what control they don't have can be vastly fixed by refusing Federal dollars and getting out from under NCLB all together.

Then let's move on to the fact that it was Chamber President/CEO Ralph Schultz that trained the BOE in the very flawed Policy Governance system they already use that fails to provide 'clear accountability' for results. Exhibit A: Pedro Garcia. Exhibit B: State oversight.

1 comment:

N.S. Allen said...

From the webpage itself, it looks like this is more an attempt to explore dialogue on various modes of governance, rather than to advocate or even specifically urge discussion just of giving the BOE taxation powers.

For instance, the previous panel in the series was on mayoral control of schools, which would presumably be incompatible with enhancing the power of an independent school board.

That being said, BOE-run taxation would be an awful idea. There is no rational viewpoint from which you can look at a system weighted down by an unnecessary and overly complex division of governing powers and conclude that the answer is to make that division even more complicated and counter-intuitive.

Still, the way we do school system budgets does need to change - probably a whole lot. It's just that the BOE is almost certainly an awful place to do it.