Thursday, February 19, 2009

Rally at the School Board meeting

I am going to ask for the comments made by our members at the rally this past Tuesday so I can publish them here for all members to see. They were powerful, eloquent, and sincere statements about their passion for working with students and their learning communities. In the meantime, here are my comments from the rally.

Teachers at Arlington and Humboldt learned about their restructuring plans after a Committee of the Board meeting. Staff learned about budget proposals after a Committee of the Board meeting. We shouldn't be learning about these plans after meetings, we should be bringing plans to these meetings.

Teachers can be trusted to help find solutions to all the issues the district is tackling from restructuring to declining enrollment and capricious funding.

Our members who just spoke are right: We want to see restructuring strengthen schools, not weaken them. We want to see budgeting strengthen schools, not weaken them, we want to see decision-making strengthen the work we do, and not weaken it.

St. Paul Public Schools can be poised to do everything right. St Paul can – and should—be the model for all of the other districts in the state facing drastic budget challenges and restructuring mandates.
And who can make that happen? We can!
Who can strengthen our schools? We can!
Who can meet the needs of our students? We can!
Who can make St. Paul Public Schools better? We can!
We can and we will! And when we do our students win and when our students win our community wins!
Join your brothers and sisters from Arlington, join our members from Humboldt, join us at our February 23rd membership meeting as we offer ideas for the budget, join me tonight in the School Board meeting. Join the fight for our voice and the future of our students. Thank you!

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