Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My Schooling on School Funding


I would not have taken on the name Enthalpy mama if I didn’t get a little heated up on a few issues. (Enthalpy is heat). But, unless converted into power, heat is merely dissipated into the atmosphere, a colossal waste of energy. If you read yesterday's post, then you know education is one of my hot buttons.

I like dealing with facts, not rumors, and so the morning after venting about our local tax issues, I went on a relatively low key fact finding mission. I called the President of the PTA in my son’s school. I know her. I know she cares. Since there was a PTA meeting last night, I thought she would want to have a heads up if this became a topic of conversation. I asked her if it was on the agenda. It was not. She thanked me and said she would look into it.

A few hours later, I received a phone call from the Board of Education. I describe this mostly because I think the Board of Education (and particularly this person) deserves a huge THANK YOU. Seriously, she was on my list to call, but I try not to be a bulldozer about everything.

“Hello, is this Enthalpymama?”

“Yes.”

“This is the Board of Education. I heard that you are interested in the effect of tax policy on school funding.”

Truly, these people take proactive to new heights. She spoke with me for about 30 minutes or so, answering every question, explaining details, adding some historical perspective. Honestly, she seemed very pleased to talk to me about it. But, I suppose we all enjoy discussing subjects about which we are passionate with those who will listen.

I won’t go into all the details here, but suffice it to say that my description was pretty accurate, with a few exceptions. The bottom line is that there is a huge problem, funding is probably going away, but there is not much that can be done until the first quarter of 2009. And, as I am finding, there are a lot of people in our city who are very passionate about improving the situation.

“You seem to be very knowledgeable on this subject. I don’t find many parents interested in this level of detail.” She said it with pleasure in her voice, without even an inkling of feeling inconvenienced about my detailed questions.

“Well, I guess I’m a bit geeky that way.”

I did attend the PTA meeting as well. The PTA President, who could not attend, surprised me by putting me on the agenda. I do have a great appreciation for clever people, and honestly it was very cleverly handled (and she knows I wouldn’t mind). So, I went from being a person asking all the questions, to being the person who was answering them.

Well done! (applause)

Funding aside, we have a great school district because we have great people.

4 comments:

Flea said...

Hoorah for you and your intelligent questions! Hoorah for passion! Hoorah for other people who care as deeply as you do! And hoorah for your update!

Badass Geek said...

The world needs more people like you, who are passionate and are willing to take charge of a situation.

standing still said...

When your state senator tells you, "There's only one person at the Capitol who understands Minnesota Education Funding" and he's in an office in the basement and no one knows who he is ... you know you have a problem. Minnesota is now ranked 41st in the nation in school funding, and a group of concerned parents, educators and legislators are introducing legislation this coming session to see if we can get it changed. It's called, "The New Minnesota Miracle." Should be quite a lively debate.

enthalpymama said...

Flea & Badass - Thank you, as always for your voice of encouragement.

Standing still - I will have to check out the "New Minnesota Miracle". I'm not sure how much I'll be able to help the situation here on the few minutes per day I have to spend on it, but I'll keep trying. I just have to learn a lot per minute . . . .