I clarified for this person that this idea was one of many cost reduction measures discussed at our March 10, 2009 public meeting, the details of which were carefully “hidden” on NNTV meeting rebroadcasts, the Courier Times, and even within the pages of this blog. I hope this person can now plainly see nothing is being hidden from them. The simple truth is that they were unaware of what was being discussed since the beginning of this year because they weren’t paying attention. But now that they are aware of the painful aspects of next year’s budget, they and their friends want to storm the next board meeting and try to change a decision that was made (publicly) 3 months ago. While I welcome their attendance and input at the next meeting, I hope these folks now realize the best way to be informed of Neshaminy news is to attend school board meetings.
I know, I know . . . you’re busy, or you have scheduling conflicts, or whatever. We are all busy, but here is something that you must keep in mind – especially you parents who are concerned about the quality of the educational programs and resources available to your children – attendance at school board meetings is dominated by people more concerned about reducing the budget than they are with maintaining our educational programs. And to their credit, these people attend meetings regularly and converse with school board members about their concerns every single chance they get. How is it that parents expect that they can show up in force at 1 or 2 meetings and have the same impact that budget-conscious attendees accomplish over the course of 5 or 7 or 10 meetings? So what’s a concerned parent with scheduling issues to do?
Here is a simple idea to boost parental attendance at board meetings – Every school organization that is supported by parent volunteers (PTO’s, boosters, etc.) should nominate one (1) person from within their group to be the official school board meeting representative. That person’s sole responsibility is to attend school board meetings each month and report back to the group. If every parent group in each of the schools implemented this idea, there would be no less than 20-30 more parents present for every school board meeting, and hundreds more would be kept up-to-date on important details.
So for all of you PTO/Booster officers out there, here is your summer assignment . . . as you prepare for next school year’s meetings, be sure to include this idea in your very first agenda. Just one parent volunteer from each of your groups is all it takes, and it’s for a really great cause – the children.