Tuesday, August 24, 2010

the opportunity is now

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana 

Why am I on this kick about the School Committee/Administration and the District Improvement Plan?

And if by chance, you missed that, I talked about it here

and here

I worked with wonderful folks on the Steering Committee to develop the Strategic Plan for the Franklin Public Schools. That overall strategy plan is now being further detailed with specific actions and follow up items to bring us toward the vision of what the schools should be.

The history of Franklin voters funding education is terrible. One operational override has passed of the seven offered. The one that passed was clearly a town-wide effort to save operations across the board (fire, police, Library and schools). Each one that failed was essentially for the schools. Although there were other departmental effects, the bulk of the funding for the six failures was for the schools.

Hence, one could argue that Franklin doesn't fund the schools.

Hence, given the opportunity to put together the details for the strategic plan, one would expect a considerable focus on communications, outreach, etc.

As I have outlined already, the bulk of the work on the District Improvement Plan is there. The issue is relatively minor in that the parents, the PCC organizations were left out of the District Improvement Plan in the key section to increase awareness of the school funding priorities. The community is included in the high school renovation project. It had better be. The community is excluded from the budget process and that is where I raise the issue.

Given the history of Franklin funding education, given the methods the School Committee and Administration have used to communicate, something needs to be changed.

Hence the George Santayana quote.

The time for change is now.

Franklin, MA


  1. Steve - The results from your survey (posted 6/26/10) on this matter seem to say something different. 33 out of 55 people said that if they separated the request into school and other town items they would have voted yes. I believe the people in town should have a choice on the items for an override, not just all or nothing. That being said I support an override for the schools.

  2. The results from the survey indicate a possible approach for success in the future. The historical fact remains that while a number of Franklin folks did approve of the override, there wasn't enough votes to pass it.

    Hence, the push for the School Committee and Administration to change their way; to foster and encourage engagement with the community, in particular the parents.

    If the parents don't get it (get the message and talk it up with their neighbors), then I don't think an override stands a chance of passing.