Some thoughts for a Fourth term
There is an old Yiddish proverb that says that man plans and God laughs. That is certainly true of School Board members. Much of what we do in Worthington will be governed by state government so an important part of the job is making sure that Worthington’s input into state education policy is always heard. Education in our district, state and nation is going through an unprecedented time of change and unfortunately, local initiatives always take a back seat to those championed by the President, Governor, Legislature and State Board of Education. This is why I am, frankly, reluctant to promise anything specific during this campaign as so much of what we do is controlled by external forces.
That said, I do have some general ideas for a fourth term and I’d also like to hear your thoughts for how our district should move forward.
· Facilities. Worthington is in final phases of completing a community-driven master plan designed to update our aging facilities and provide sufficient space for anticipated enrollment growth. This will be an ongoing multi-phase project with the possibility of redrawing district boundaries for the first time in decades. I will advocate for efficiency and transparency during this process. Any redistricting must include constituent engagement and parent representation.
· Financial Sustainability. Our district has adapted a policy of “Reasonable Levies at Reasonable Intervals”. This page highlights what we’ve collectively done to meet that objective. Over the next four years, we must meet the challenges of increasing enrollment, aging facilities and a changing demographic, all of which will require increased funding. My personal goal (and my colleagues may see things differently) is that we continue to use the unexpected revenue from TPP reimbursements to extend the life of the 2012 operating levy until 2019 while investigating whether to invest some money into new programming in which a broad consensus exists that our district should provide for students. We should also continue to look for efficiencies in operations. Finally, while no one wants to contemplate the loss of any programming, we should conduct audits of high school and middle school electives and if students are not participating in large numbers, consider offering the classes less frequently.
· Legislative mischief. A large portion of the job is keeping an eye on legislative proposals that impact our district or my constituents. In some cases, the legislation speaks to our financial well-being. In others, it impacts significantly what we teach and how we teach it. Worthington is a lighthouse district and our Board and administration are frequently asked their opinions on legislative proposals.
· Choices and Opportunities. Our district needs to continue to provide relevant options to all students. Increasingly, these options include blended learning opportunities, classes that focus on global culture and career readiness.
· Educating ALL students. Columbus and Worthington are growing and increasingly, we are enrolling students for whom English is not their primary language. Educating these students presents some unique challenges. In addition, the economically disadvantaged population in Worthington continues to grow exponentially.
· Climate/Culture. No discussion of a fourth term would be complete without mentioning my passion for focusing on Drug/Alcohol abuse and bullying. These are societal problems that will not be solved in Worthington, however, we must do all we can. No academic program will help a kid who comes to middle school each day fearful of being bullied and no academic intervention will help a kid who comes to one of our high schools stoned. We have made great strides over the last 12 years in addressing these issues, but it is simply not enough. I will continue to work with Worthington’s administrators as well as outstanding community organizations such as Drug Safe Worthington and the Partners for Community and Character to continue battling this issue.
Paid for by the Committee to Re-Elect Marc Schare, Lea Rankin, Treasurer, 2113 Selbourne Ct, Dublin OH 43016