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home : opinions : letters August 19, 2014


10/23/2013 10:02:00 AM
Letter: HUSD is far from reality on override

Editor:

Our landscaper came to the door and told us that they were going to raise the rate 10 perccent this year. We were not allowed to fire them even if they didn't do a good job and on top of that they will raise their rate 10 percent each year after that for six years.

The icing on the cake? If we don't pay they will put a lien on our property and take our home. Sound like a good deal?

That is why I say vote no on HUSD Special Override Election.

Like the landscaper, performance guarantee? None. The reason they cannot stay on Arizona State budget (like 50 percent of the Arizona schools)? No explanation as to why HUSD is unable to, just that they have the right to hold all property owners hostage by saying, "it's for the children."

Do you see evidence of proper money management? New covered parking lots with solar panels: for the children?

The HUSD calendar has the plan "work two months get a paid week off." HUSD vehicles are new or near new: do you drive a new car?

Crowded classrooms? That's nothing new. My mother-in-law taught in the 50s and wouldn't think of asking for an assistant if there was less than 30 kids.

Plus, how will this money reduce class size? They didn't bother to tell us (and besides, do they have to do anything different if it passes? Shoot, they could double class size and we still pay.

Lets talk reality. We have all had to "tighten our belts." Reagan is not in office and it's not 1985. Look at all the federal workers, the number of retirees. This demand for money without restriction shows how far from reality HUSD is.

Who is held accountable for the outcome? No one. Who should be required to pay? No one.

I urge everyone to vote no on HUSD Special Override Election.

Dora Montoya-Dellinger

Prescott Valley


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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013
Article comment by: Dear Mr/Mrs Gave too much

Have you ever attended a school board meeting?

I love how people are so "involved" when it comes to politics, but not so much when it comes to "knowledge" of what shapes their politics.

Easier that way, I know.


Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013
Article comment by: @ We gave too much

You said: "I have to eat Ramen now and then and while its not Rib Eye steak, it fills the stomach until such time I can afford a good steak."

So when do you think the State will ever provide a good steak? As it is, all HUSD is asking for is the same ground chuck we were getting before we had to switch to beef flavored ramen noodles. Ramen noodles may temporarily fill the stomach, but doesn't nourish. Instead - a steady diet of the stuff will more serious, more expensive problems.

I don't see how anybody can argue that.


Posted: Sunday, October 27, 2013
Article comment by: Tori Kendall

I am not sure how myself and others wanting better for our kids is selfish.

The state taking your tax money and spending it elsewhere other than on education is the crux of the issue. They put districts in this position and people were warned of this before the last election. If you have issue with that take it up with your state legislators. If they restore what they have cut the districts across the state would not have to go for overrides and bonds.

50% of districts representing 70% of students are on overrides and bonds. The state has cut 21.8%. Hold your legislators responsible if you are not pleased with where we are and what measures districts are having to take.


Posted: Sunday, October 27, 2013
Article comment by: Tori Kendall

I am sorry if the perception is that "students I see graduating today are lacking basic skills in reading, math, history and english."

That is just not true. The kids graduating from Bradshaw are not lacking in basic skills. Perhaps the young adults you are referencing did not graduate, graduated from another school (mainly underperforming charter schools and online schools), or moved to the area after schooling. I invite you to volunteer at the schools and see for yourself. Our students are bright and intelligent. I know this from day long interaction with hundreds of them. It is sad that there are adults among the general population who have nothing nice to say about our youth. Perhaps even more sad that our kids are aware of it.

On the side note, I will not engage in a personal attack campaign with you. This is why most people will not use their real names, but is also proves that even if you do some people will still stoop low enough to troll your personal information, embellish it, and mount personal attacks that are unwarranted and unnecessary. I will stick to the topic at hand.


Posted: Sunday, October 27, 2013
Article comment by: We Gave Too Much

Tori, You can view this issue with complicity or simplicity. You can say the other side just doesn't see the whole picture from your view point, or the other side views your viewpoint as being from a selfish side. Heck, Harry Reid just said "Americans don't mind paying more taxes" yet five years ago he was quoted as saying "you don't have to pay taxes." The crux is, we are getting fed up with paying more and getting less. Those that want more seem to hold nothing back in trying to justify the needs, even if it means lying through their teeth. I have to eat Ramen now and then and while its not Rib Eye steak, it fills the stomach until such time I can afford a good steak.

Posted: Saturday, October 26, 2013
Article comment by: @ We gave too much

Why do they need more? Because the State played fast and loose with providing that specific level of funding - gutting it to the quick.

Because using available monies as effectively as possible is far different than having monies to provide better things.

A family using their available money to buy a working bicycle to get to work and top ramen to feed their kids sure would like a working car and perhaps some fresh veggies as well - if they only had the money.

See how that works?


Posted: Friday, October 25, 2013
Article comment by: I'd love to hear a single...

....fact based, logical and rational argument against the override.

Instead we get falsehoods (purposeful lies?), emotion, hyperbole, and embarrassing overgeneralizations.

Seems to me the dearth of any reasonable argument against compared to the facts as to why we should vote yes speaks volumes.

If only we would listen.


Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2013
Article comment by: @ Tori Kendall

You stated:

Teaching today is different than teaching 20 or 30 or 40 years ago. We do not stand in front of a class and lecture and expect kids to memorize. Classrooms are much more interactive and much more hands-on. These new techniques have drastically changed the classroom and that changes how many kids can/should be in a classroom.

Maybe it should change back to what it was 20 or 30 years ago. The students I see graduating today are lacking basic skills in reading, math, history and english.
Perhaps the teacher should be teaching instead of updating their Facebook page all day with posts from liberal and sports posts and writing on the blogs to the local papers.
(sorry your tigers lost)


Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2013
Article comment by: @ We gave too much

There is a difference between staying within a budget and making the smartest choices you can within that budget and having a budget that allows for better, more worthwhile choices.

I stay within my household budget, but it's not a lot to do much with. I forgo a lot of things other feel are necessities to feed my children. I make smart choices, but am often limited to buying them Top Ramen and Frozen Pizzas because they are what I can sometimes afford that week. They don't go hungry, so I've met their needs, right?

Wrong. Give me more money and I can do more than just meet their basic needs. I can provide food and opportunities that maximize their health and potential.

Get it?


Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2013
Article comment by: Tori Kendall

We don't need more - we need back some of what the state cut. I am not sure why the concepts escapes people. The state cut 22% over the last 5-7 years. We don't want 30%. We want part of the 22% back.

As for transportation routes you need to consider the area that HUSD covers. To the best of my knowledge it is one of the largest geographical areas covered by a single school district in the state. This means that we have to cover more ground and our population is spread out. In order to avoid having kids on buses for excessive periods of time, we have to run some routes that are not packed. It is logistics.

Plush admin offices? Again - not sure what you are referencing here. Moving them to east? That was a cost savings measure to utilize that entire property, filling it with DO, transportation, preschool, JTED and our online classes. Then that allowed us to rent out the old DO that we cannot currently sell. I remember when it was being done and it saved the district money - as many of us did question it.

As for your statements about instructional methods - you may disagree, but I personally know that it works to the benefit of students and it is not going away anytime soon - as common core is more thinking skills and problem solving than memorization of facts.

I am just not sure what you keep digging for. Everything you have posted either myself or others or others have squashed your concerns with facts.

Please continue to ask away.


Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2013
Article comment by: We Gave Too Much

All right Tori-given the state constitution mandates a specific level of funding and according to your information, the state Audit General found HUSD used their monies better than other school districts, convince them why you need more. Again, you don't address the vast amount of buses, the low number of riders/users or plush administrative offices. As for teaching techniques, the change of more one on one and smaller class sizes initiated by teacher's union brought forth smaller class sizes and increased number of teachers. When found that wasn't necessarily working, cuts were made in those areas due to funding restraints. Yet academically, overall grade scores improved through those cuts by putting more responsibility and accountability on teachers and administrations. Of course some were found cheating to bolster or retain funding, but I'm sure that wouldn't happen here.

Posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Article comment by: Carrie King

There are a couple of things this woman needs to know the true "reality" of - first of all, the School District did not pay out one penny for those solar panels, APS paid for them, did the work and collects the energy also, staff does NOT get paid for those 1 week breaks every nine weeks - believe me, my bank account is proof!

The "reality" is that our community is losing experienced staff "for the children" every day due to lack of pay.


Posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Article comment by: Marty Boles

Dora:
I would like to know if you have had children? If not, it would explain why you don't have a clue how today's school society is nothing like what it was back in the 50's. You are comparing apples and oranges which means you can't compare them at all!

Who said we can't live off the state's budget? YOU take a 22% cut in your budget and tell me what you would do to make that money up while the cost of living goes up and up. HUSD was praised for living within their means by the state!! The problem is if there is not income, then how does one keep living on a string and a prayer? Who paid for your education? APS paid for the solar panels, not the school district. APS is doing this to schools all over the state in an effort to save energy and provide a better service. Parking lots were either redone by them or were paid for by the bond that was passed 4-5 years ago. BONDS are for brick and mortar!! OVERRIDES are for people! I am paying for my own job with taxes because I live in PV! I honor education by being a teacher! Go to www.humboldtunified.com, click on FAQ, and learn the facts about this override! They are listed there!


Posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Article comment by: Okay Let's Play

1. Landscaper comparison makes absolutely zero sense. Try again.

2. "they cannot stay on Arizona State budget (like 50 percent of the Arizona schools)?" -- You can't go overbudget as a school. It's against the law, and HUSD has not gone overbudget, ever. In fact, the Auditor General review found HUSD used it's money better and more efficiently than most schools in Arizona. Try again.

3. " New covered parking lots with solar panels: for the children?" --- As has been stated countless times the solar panels were at zero cost to HUSD and taxpayers. Try again.

4. "The HUSD calendar has the plan "work two months get a paid week off."" -- The number of min contract days are the same for all schools in Arizona as set by law. What does this have to do with the override at all? Try again.

5. "HUSD vehicles are new or near new: do you drive a new car? " -- Irrelevant to the discussion. HUSD owned vehicles are aging private vehicle ownership has zero bearing on this issue.

6. "My mother-in-law taught in the 50s and wouldn't think of asking for an assistant if there was less than 30 kids." -- Again, zero relevancy. Probably a lie considering average class size was 19 students in 1950.

This is too easy - you get the gist. Look up the facts, use rational thought, and make your decision. Ignore this letter and it's erroneous and laughably sophomoric "argument".


Posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Article comment by: Tori Kendall

Teaching today is different than teaching 20 or 30 or 40 years ago. We do not stand in front of a class and lecture and expect kids to memorize. Classrooms are much more interactive and much more hands-on. These new techniques have drastically changed the classroom and that changes how many kids can/should be in a classroom.

As for the solar panels, I am not sure how many times this needs to be explained. The district is saving money by having them and they did not pay for them. It was a partnership with APS and there is a rebate for the energy that is being added to the supply. Not all schools have covered parking. The high school has them on the roof of the cafeteria building. It was just how APS saw fit to do it.

As for the school vehicles, I am not even sure what you are referencing. As some one who has had to use school vehicles most of them are not new - by a long shot. And it is irrelevant even if it were true because vehicles are "things" and are not something that would be paid for out of the override. Overrides cannot be spent on "things."

Reducing class sizes will come from hiring for positions that were eliminated over the last 5-7 years. I know of about 15 teaching positions at the high school that were eliminated. By eliminating those, with a relatively stable enrollment it caused class sizes to go up. So...by rehiring for some of those positions class sizes will go down.

As for, "and besides, do they have to do anything different if it passes? Shoot, they could double class size and we still pay" there will be an oversight committee. Join it.

And as for this statement, "The HUSD calendar has the plan 'work two months get a paid week off.' " I don't even know what you mean by that. Please clarify. That just doesn't mesh with anything for district employees, of any sort.

Finally, the analogy you cited is severely flawed. It is not even comparing apples to oranges. It is comparing apples to a car. This is public education, not an optional service that you choose to receive or not (which would be your landscaping service). Did you know that the Arizona Constitution actually REQUIRES public education to be funded at a sufficient level?



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