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Posted on Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 7:30 a.m.

Larry Murphy will bring practical solutions to Ann Arbor school board

By Letters to the Editor

Soon, voters will make important decisions regarding the direction of the Ann Arbor school board. Clearly, the district’s biggest challenge remains that of dealing with the financial constraints of the current economy. A critical aspect of managing in these difficult times will be a commitment to prioritizing resources for the classroom.

I have looked at the candidates’ positions in the media and on their websites, and find that Larry Murphy offers the most concrete ideas about how to deal with these challenges. His ideas offer fresh thinking and practical, focused solutions that can be implemented. These include consolidating transportation through neighborhood-based busing, which Dexter introduced more than a year ago and led to a reduction in fuel consumption by half; an administrative hiring freeze unless external recruitment is absolutely necessary and specifically approved by the Board; and a 2012-2013 budget with NO teacher cuts, with responsibility and accountability of school administrators for maintaining the focus on the classroom.

In short, the Ann Arbor school board needs new ideas and leadership, and a focused commitment to classroom education. Larry Murphy is a problem-solver who can bring this resolve to the district.

- Edward Post, Superior Township



Sat, Nov 5, 2011 : 4:30 p.m.

Larry Murphy seems like the best possible choice to focus resources on the classrooms. He correctly observes that Ann Arbor is getting significantly more dollars / pupil than some of our neighboring districts, and approximately the same levels of achievement. Are Dexter and Saline that much different from AA? Then why does Ann Arbor have so many more central office staff members, even when considered on a support staff / student basis? More teachers, less overhead sounds smart to me.

Tom Markovits

Sat, Nov 5, 2011 : 3:36 p.m.

What is the difference? All candidates are equally unqualified to run schools, so put the names in a hat and pick them that way. Better yet disband all schoolboards and let a centralized group of profitionals run all state schools. This will eliminate the need for 1/4 million dollar superintandants as well.