Prepared Text for Board Meeting Ė January 28, 2008

Marc A. Schare614 791-0646 Home

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marc9@aol.com

 

 

Tonight, I have three brief comments.

 

First, the treasury advisory committee met last week and began a preliminary discussion on what is sustainable and what is affordable in Worthington. We discussed some of the variables in the five year forecast, notably the timing of employee retirements and the impact that health care may play on this. We also discussed cost shifting, bond issuance and a myriad of other topics. It should be noted that with the state of Ohio experiencing a budget shortfall in the current biennium and with bleak projections statewide for the foreseeable future, whatever small chance there might have been that the state would bestow riches upon our district seems to have faded and that our legislative priority for this year at the state level is to simply be left alone.

 

Speaking of legislative priorities, board members might recall we had a discussion of the OSBA legislative platform last year. Jennifer Economus came from OSBA to discuss the platform and the OSBA process. This year, I applied for and was accepted as a member of the OSBA legislative platform committee joining colleagues from Westerville and Southwestern in representing OSBAís central region.

 

Finally, Iíd like to thank all of the administrators that participated in our retreat last Friday. My biggest fear was that our retreat would be packed with Steven Covey like material and we would see one Power point presentation after another, but thanks to the retreat organizers, that didnít happen. What we saw was a full, fair and honest discussion about programmatic enhancements to Worthington Schools, what it means to offer choices for our students, how those choices can be offered in an equitable, but not necessarily equal fashion, how those choices should be designed, and by who. What is possible, what is unlikely, what can be done to get the most bang for the buck, what could happen if we dream a little and yes, what political, financial and societal factors might get in the way. In a nutshell, Iíve been hoping for a discussion like that since I came on the board. Our board took a little criticism last year over our propensity to micromanage. Fridayís retreat was the antithesis of that. Items discussed at the meeting may come to fruition as early as next year or not at all but the one takeaway from the retreat is this. Worthington is no longer a status-quo reactive district. In the area of student achievement, in the area of education reform, in the area of choice and in the area of fiscal management, we will innovate, we will be entrepreneurialand our students and our community will be the better for it.