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Posted on Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 5:58 a.m.

Ann Arbor Schools launch $45.8M tech bond campaign

By Danielle Arndt

Mostly supporters showed up at Huron High School Wednesday night to kick off the Ann Arbor schools technology millage campaign.

Of the estimated 50 people in attendance, the majority were school board trustees, principals, parent-teacher organization representatives and members of the Ann Arbor Citizens Millage Committee.


About 50 people attended a kickoff Wednesday in Ann Arbor for the school district's upcoming technology millage campaign.

Danielle Arndt I

When asked if they were disappointed that more people from the public did not show up to learn about the proposal, which will appear on the May 8 ballot, A2 CMC members largely said no.

“I was actually excited that for a night with poor weather we were able to have 17 schools represented,” said Donna Lasinski, millage committee chairwoman.

The dense fog did not prevent Ann Arbor Open parent Mary Krasan from asking her questions. She was just one of three people to raise her hand following a presentation on the bond by Superintendent Patricia Green, Executive Director of Physical Properties Randy Trent and local bond attorney Amanda Van Dusen.

Krasan said technology is necessary, but it is not an end in itself. It’s a means to an end, Krasan said, adding she wants more concrete examples of how the technology bond will directly impact kids in the classroom.

In order to be convinced the millage will in fact help students get ahead, Krasan wants proof that teachers can successfully integrate these tools into their lesson plans.

“Show me the educational value,” she said. “Show me teachers working with it. … I want to see video of second graders and teachers huddled around this technology… show me how education is enhanced by it. … Students using a program to develop a project — something hands on.”

Krasan expressed concerns about training for teachers and ensuring they are properly taught to use the technology and then are following through with the training. She said there has to be accountability.

“Teachers have a lot on their plates. Room has to be made for training … and time,” she said, adding administrators can’t pile on extra tasks and responsibilities during training time just because they have everyone gathered together.

Deputy Superintendent of Instruction Alesia Flye said while bond money cannot be used toward training, only infrastructure and equipment, professional development is a critical piece of the district’s technology plan.

Ann Farnham and Simone McDaniel both came to Wednesday’s kickoff to learn about how to best answer questions about the bond when out in the community. The women already were supporters of the millage, they said.


Executive Director of Physical Properties Randy Trent poses inside a crowded server room at Balas. Server upgrades would be included in the tech bond plan.

Chris Asadian |

“My understanding is that this will keep us current,” said Farnham, who serves as the director of promotions and community relations at the Ann Arbor PTO Thrift Shop.

She said by today’s standards, the items in the bond plan are not “fancy toys,” they are the equivalent of “work books and pencils — basic stuff.”

“In my opinion, anyone who stays home or votes ‘no’ (on May 8) is a medievalist, and is not aware of where the world is or where it’s going,” said Brit Satchwell, president of the Ann Arbor Education Association.

Farnham said she does not fault the district for asking the community to fund the technology improvements.

“If we can’t do that (pay an extra .45 mills in taxes for the bond), then we are not stepping up and doing our part as parents for our children’s future,” Farnham said. “We wish the state gave us more money.”

A2 CMC member Steve Norton said: “We need to think of this as one of the few opportunities we (as parents) have to make a decision about how money is spent on our schools. … Typically we are at the mercy of lawmakers.”

McDaniel, a Pittsfield elementary parent, agreed. She said this is an opportunity for community members to give more money to the schools without a portion of it ending up in Lansing or elsewhere.

Lasinski said generally only about one-third of every $1 people pay in property taxes comes back to the district.

Mike Harris, technology teacher at Clague Middle School, said he attended Wednesday’s meeting to support the bond. He has a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old whom he wants to have “access to the best,” he said.

Despite being a proponent for the bond and knowing the district needs to upgrade its technology, he said he still has concerns.

“These are tough economic times,” Harris said. “Ann Arbor is historically a giving district, but in an ideal world we wouldn’t have to ask (for the money) right now.”

Staff reporter Danielle Arndt covers K-12 education for Follow her on Twitter @DanielleArndt or email her at



Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 4:39 a.m.

A no vote will force students to actually learn and teachers to actually teach. We should wire the the city and give all residents free high speed internet access not just students and educators.


Sat, Mar 3, 2012 : 4:31 p.m.

To Brit Satchwell - To be a medievalist would be interesting. I will pay you in chickens, fish and apples, since that was the way teachers in that time period were mostly paid. They were some of the worst paid people in the community and when they tried to form guilds in larger cities, the leaders were run out of town. I honestly have more respect for teachers than that. For an educated teacher, you seem to have some massive blind spots on how to deal with people and what terms and history really mean. Now would you like to apologize to the community at large? To the members of AAEA, you may want to think about your leadership votes the next time around. Is this person really helping you advance the cause of education?


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 4:41 p.m.

I just got an email from AAPS News stating that all of their computers are now out of warranty and they do not have the budget to fix them if they get broke. O gee, goes without saying. Cut the salaries in Balais and put that money to good use. On their technology and quit asking us for more money.

Roger Kuhlman

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 3:53 a.m.

I am responding to the story "District kicks off millage effort" that appeared in the March 1 paper. The proposed school millage increase is being fraudulently misrepresented as a 'technology' tax. What is really being approved is more school taxation so that teachers and school administrators can keep their excessively high wages, benefits, and pensions. In normal non-governmental businesses technology is funded and part of the regular operating budget. It does not receive special separate funding. That would be true or should be true of the Ann Arbor School District Budget but they have a problem that they don't have the money to fund their lavish personnel costs. So up pops a solution. Create a special millage and say it is for technology. That is dodge and a very unworthy dodge. So folks are you happy to increase your already very high tax burden in Ann Arbor so that School District employees can get special deals? Remember People working in private industry with comparable levels of skills, training and education do not come close to matching what school employees get. One last point why do school millage increases always seem to occur in the dead of the night--like in May--when turnout is sure to be very low and the people most likely voting are those who will and are benefiting from public largesse? Shouldn't these elections be decided by large numbers of voters at regularly scheduled federal election dates?


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 3:06 a.m.

How is it that the property owners are the only ones responsible for paying for this? When half or more of Ann Arbor is non-taxable. Why are non-property owners allowed to vote on millage? Why can students vote on the millage even when they do not rent but are in dorms? Education is the responsibility of everyone not just the property owners. The University of Michigan pays no property taxes yet students living in student housind send their children to Ann Arbor schools. Churches, charities, the Y, Lurie Terrace, County Buildings and I cannot think or know all others that do not pay any property tax. But it comes to around 50% of Ann Arbor. I don't mind paying taxes but what about the rest of the people who have income? NO, NO, NO to more millage or any renewals. It is time that the cost of education be shared by everyone not just the property owners.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 1:40 a.m.

I am 100% in support of this (as long as PD is built in for the teachers)! I know that the majority of future jobs come from STEM (science, tech, engineering and math). And the majority of those jobs are in computing. Our educators job is to prepare our students to be productive and innovative workers. Digital literacy is a literacy (even the National Council for Teachers of English has integrated digital literacy into their traditional teaching standards---starting in 2008). I do really, really hope they include a lot of professional development in the bond, because many of our teachers are just unaware how to effectively use these tools in their teaching, and we need to support them. I would like to see a digital literacy K-12 curriculum that is enacted in the district, because I feel as though each teacher at each grade level chooses if they will use technology and how, I would like to see stricter requirements of our teachers and expected outcomes with digital literacy at each grade level. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 11:25 p.m.

I am a voter who is happy to support education but NOT every new technology that comes along. There is much, much more to education than a computer or other technology. The community has a number of needs that are more important. Lots of people need basic things like police, fire, adult education and training etc. Funds for most are limited. And by the way the medievalist stuff is insulting to me and Copernicus I may be ignorant but I do have a vote and a voice.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 9:56 p.m.

just more toys for people that already have a lot of toys. NO THANKS!


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 9:17 p.m.

Brit Satchwell: What a hell of a way to turn people off. Do you realize that 90 percent of people in Ann Arbor are computer literate and understand the role that computers play in our lives. Perhaps there is a reason why people have concerns but with your Union mentality you come off as though you are Mr. Universe. That's enough to turn me off from this milleage.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 7:58 p.m.

The dollars are being spent in AA in the sense that they support the AAPS alone -- not Ypsi, or Muskegon or Detroit. Our regular property tax dollars go to school districts in all those other places as well as AA. Every dollar that comes out of the general fund costs AA taxpayers much more than $1.00 -- these dollars will cost AA taxpayers a dollar. That makes this millage a great way to support the schools here more cheaply than we can support them with general fund dollars.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 6:27 p.m.

The voters of this community are being asked to spend 45.8 Million dollars on technology that will be obsolete before it's paid for. No doubt, we will all be asked for more money to buy more equipment again in the near future. This is a waste of money. If this equipment is truly necessary, the School Board should find should find funds for it out of the operating budget. A plan should be put in place to replace equipment on a cyclical basis. In addition, the comment about spending these dollars in Ann Arbor is wrong. The dollars will be spent on devices that are manufactured in the far east. I urge all Ann Arbor voters to reject this proposal...Resoundingly!


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 6:07 p.m.

I suggest, since this is an AA millage issue, those who are not AA residents identify themselves so their reactionary opinions can be understood in context.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 12:07 p.m.

dotdash - Wrong - The issues is decided by all the voters who pay taxes for AAPS. That includes a fair amount of the bordering townships. It is not just the voters in the city of Ann Arbor. AAPS serves a larger geographic area and people in that area all pay the same tax rates (millage) for the schools that the people living within the city of Ann Arbor pay.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 10:27 p.m.

Dog Guy, do you want to explain why?

Dog Guy

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 8:21 p.m.

Dotdash, I give you full disclosure that I am an overpaid and underworked teacher sucking on a tax teat. I pay Ann Arbor property taxes and am going to vote against this additional 3-card monte scam by AAPS. (There never is a queen of hearts so the French call it &quot;les trois perdants.&quot;)


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 5:48 p.m.

I've said all this before: &quot;Using long term money for short lived/consumable items is really stupid. The AAPS has done this time and again-30 year bonds for carpets and computers which wear out or become obsolete in 3-5 years. WCC has long had in its operating budget, not in its capital budget, technology upgrades...&quot; Here's a newer thought. Much recent talk has been about outsourcing. Isn't this the perfect opportunity to do just that? UM is moving to Google for much of it's web based functions and moving others to the cloud providing more services at lower cost. A combination of cloud based services and LEASED equipment could easily keep our schools current with technology, reduce costs and have an evergreen way to avoid this recurring cost and debate which, as others have pointed out (DonBee and pearlgirl) has failed to result in what was asked for and what is needed. Surely we have at least a few people financially sophisticated enough in our employ to figure this out and create contracts that ensure that we become and remain technologically current at competitive rates. Computing services need to be ubiquitous.That we do not have them available to every child and teacher, whenever and wherever they need those services, is a pretty sad state of affairs.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 5:20 p.m.

AAPS, you may want to acquire a muzzle for Mr. Satchwell. He is certainly not helping you in the public relations arena with comments like the one he made for this article.

Patrick Haggood

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 4:44 p.m.

And now it's being argued on Slashdot: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 4:25 p.m.

AAPS, start stuffing those lunch boxes and backpacks with propaganda. You will need enough parents to climb on board and get to the polls to overcome the number of non parent voters and voters who already feel overtaxed and fearful of the rising costs of fuel to pull this off.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 4:42 p.m.

Should see the news article I just got from AAPS. Wow. Talk about needing money.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 4:21 p.m.

So, the millage is for equipment and infrastructure and CAN'T be used for training. Where are they going to get the money for training? How much will the training cost?


Sat, Mar 3, 2012 : 4:25 p.m.

mallan - Similar to PowerSchool and its lack of training, the district has chosen to use in service days to address one topic over the last few years and ignore actual teaching skills in the classroom. We all know the single issue and the consultant who has been paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to conduct the training to the exclusion of almost every other topic and approach.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 4:05 p.m.

The bond fund and the prior technology millage were both supposed to deal with the backbone issues between schools. What makes anyone sure that on this - the third ask for money from the community that they will actual do the work? I saw a number of &quot;smart boards&quot; in the schools a couple of weeks ago. Most were not in use - this is what the AAPS spent simulus funds over the last 2 years - why did that money for technology not buy computers? The sinking fund was supposed to free up general fund money to keep technology current. Why did that not happen? The skyline bond fund had a significant amount of technology money in it for server rooms and closets (their term) - yet they want more now for that infrastructure. They had over $12 million in bond and sinking fund money this year and another $1.4 million in medicaid reimbursement that could have been used for technology - that mostly instead went to facilities for the Varsity. Why should I give them more money when they don't use the money they have in a wise fashion?

Stephen Landes

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 3:01 p.m.

Earth to Brit Satchwell -- go ahead and alienate the electorate. You're a perfect example of the elitist out of touch people running public employee unions. I had no doubt I would vote NO on this proposal, but if i had a doubt your ridiculous comments would have cemented my decision. By the way, being a &quot;medievalist&quot; is an honorable academic profession.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 2:45 p.m.

Ann Arbor Public Schools abused and mismanaged the last technology bond. Equipment purchased did not adequately meet open architecture protocals and now must be replaced rather than upgraded. Furthermore, buildings were poorly wired or not addressed as wireless or satellite facilities. We cannot afford these unnecessary and expensive mistakes. Additionally, staff and teachers cannot and are not using the capacity available. A significant number of teachers do not provide simple web sites or participate in enterprise-wide sites to provide student assignments, handouts, grades, etc. A few examples are the the writing program, &quot;MyAccess&quot;, &quot;Power School&quot; and &quot;Moodle&quot;, which are not adequately used because teaches cannot provide instruction to students or do not take full advantage of the the features available. We would be better served if more money were spent on IT para-professionals and teacher training. Scrap the technology bond and invest in people.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 5:18 p.m.

Hi pearlgirl, Please explain your comment that &quot;equipment purchased did not adequately meet open architecture protocols and now must be replaced rather than upgraded.&quot; What I believe you are saying is that because the machines in question are Apple computers, which tend to be fairly proprietary technology, they cannot be upgraded, but must be replaced. If that is the case, I believe that part of your argument to be somewhat specious. A five to eight year old computer is just that, a five to eight year old computer. Technology has moved on and upgrades just don't cut it anymore. The processors and bus-speed of the motherboards will no longer support current software applications. It is akin to trying to race in the Indy 500 driving a Ford Model-T. Another item it does not take into account is the wear and tear that school computers go through when compared with business and personal computers. I am in the IT industry, and have worked in both schools and the private sector. The worst computer treatment I have seen in the private sector (and in 15+ years I have seen a lot!) pales in comparison to what school computers go through. This is especially true with laptops and other mobile devices. I have to admit that I am very impressed that AAPS tech staff manages to keep these computers going for so long!


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 2:24 p.m.

Laptops and IPads for everyone! Smart phones in school bags, and Kindle's for all. Please show us how this helps a student have better social skills, reading proficiency, and math and physics knowledge. It all sounds so good, like free ice cream for everyone!


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 1:42 a.m.

There are many studies...check out Dr. Claire Wood at the University of Coventry in the UK...she has found great gains with literacy and texting on standardized test. There are also examples of studies from IU about social networking and helping students to develop better social learning skills (Face to Face)...


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 10:25 p.m.

They are preparing students for future work in the real world. How many work places do you know that could function without technology?


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 2 p.m.

My thought on the matter is that I want to keep the AAPS as top notch public schools. Not only will having the best public schools help our student be successful in college and as working professionals but it will also make the Ann Arbor area a more desirable community to live and help to bring the real estate market back up! I am tired of sending my tax dollars to Lansing for public education and seeing them being spent elsewhere. With this millage, I can see those tax dollars returning to MY community to help MY children...

John Spelling

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 1:55 p.m.

I often ask my kids - is this a want or a need? AAPS has yet to prove this is a need. Until then, no.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 11:33 p.m.

Should see how much they are paying the admin inside Balais. So now ask yourself why the upgrade?


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 1:38 p.m.

Maybe the teachers and administrators could reduce their pa and retirement some so that everybody gives a little! I don't see why taxpayers payers should give more when teachers and administrators are getting pay raises while most people are not. Besides, the teachers might have a hard time learning the new technology.


Sat, Mar 3, 2012 : 4:22 p.m.

Susie Q - If you have more the 13 years with the district and have not gotten a new degree, then you have not gotten a step table raise and you took a pay cut. On the other hand, if you have fewer than 13 year and/or you got a new degree you may have stayed the same on take home pay or gotten a small raise. The step table is still in effect for raises, only the general annual raise was done away with. As to the administration, not just the central administration, but some of the members of the Ann Arbor Administrators Association (a.k.a. Principals) also got raises. Pay and benefits are more than 80 percent of the budget, so it is where the money is. Unfortunately the current Board of Education and Administration feels that the teachers should take the brunt of the cuts, not the administration.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 10:24 p.m.

Should teachers pay, or the parents of the kids who will benefit?

Susie Q

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 8:26 p.m.

The teachers HAVE reduced their pay more than a little when you figure out how much more they are paying for health care and the pay cut they took last year. Almost everyone has had their pay cut except for the folks in Central Administration, and cutting Pay and benefits will certainly not generate the kind of money that is needed for technology.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 1:32 p.m.

I think Krasan makes a good point about the teacher training. It seems &quot;equity&quot; and achievement gap training have been the sole focus for teacher training days and I imagine the &quot;discipline gap&quot; will be/has been on the front burner also. There is only so much time for teacher training and the BOE needs to be able to rationalize their continued contract with PEG and Glenn Singleton.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 3:18 a.m.

Are these trainings at WISD in the evening?


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 10:23 p.m.

There are weekly trainings for technology at WISD that are well-attended. Try not to assume.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 1:17 p.m.

I like the point about this being one of the few methods to get AA tax money to stay in AA. It's frustrating to want better schools, but be hobbled by state-dictated funding levels. Let's take this opportunity to improve the schools in spite of Lansing and in spite of the rest of Washtenaw County (remember AA being outvoted on &quot;it makes a millage&quot;?) AA can decide this without the rest of Washtenaw County deciding for us.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 12:03 p.m.

dotdash - This kind of millage is by school district, so all of the area that AAPS serves is included. AAPS serves parts of several townships that surround Ann Arbor. Everyone who pays AAPS taxes (check your tax bill to see what district you are in) gets to vote on this millage request.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 5:59 p.m.

Mick52: It's decided by voters, but not necessarily AA voters. Amendment B says regular school millage votes can only be conducted at the county-wide level. So if AA wants more school funding, we have to convince all the rest of Washtenaw County that they want more school funding, too. &quot;It makes a millage&quot; passed in AA, but was voted down outside of AA, so no millage for AA. This is different, I believe...


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 4:22 p.m.

Voters dictated school funding.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 12:32 p.m.

I think if Krasan visited elementary classrooms for a day or two she would see her fears completely unfounded. The bigger problem most schools have is not having enough computers to go around (typically one lab and one cart with 30 computers each for the entire school to share.)


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : noon

sh1 - this is another thing I don't understand. They want to replace over 8,000 computers and there are just over 16,000 students. Why is there 1 cart of 30 computers for a 200-300 student school. The replacement numbers say there should be at least 2 or 3 carts of 30 computers per building, since there is a ratio of 1 computer per 2 students. Even if I give every staff member a computer of their own, the ratio is about 1 computer for 3 students - so for a 300 student elementary school there should be 100 computers in the building (3 carts + library). So you have to wonder - where are the computers?

Hot Sam

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 12:14 p.m.

When I look at the picture of Mr. Trent in the server room at Balas, two thoughts come to mind. First, is &quot;what a terrible spaghetti mess&quot;, they must need some money to fix it. The second is, &quot;what a terrible spaghetti mess&quot; why should I give them more money when they can't organize and take care of what I have already given them money for? I'll be voting the latter...

Hot Sam

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 9:46 p.m.

@Sellers...btw your link is great and very amusing...while I agree it could be worse, I don't see that as a reason to accept mediocraty for my hard earned tax's time for these folks to take responsibility here...

Hot Sam

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 9:40 p.m.

Sorry Sellers...I work in technology, and that is a MESS... In my previous job I did many systems for AA schools...I was always appalled at the condition of things and disresect for equipment... I would start by teaching how to coil a cable, neatly run a data line, etc before I would spend another dime...


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 4:47 p.m.

maallen, I don't know whether the AAPS' IT workers are unionized or not, but it really doesn't matter. Adding, upgrading and maintaining a server farm is one of the costliest ways to conduct IT operations. For some reason, technology is supposed to produce efficiency everywhere but in IT. There's plenty of IT work to do, with or without a data center. Using cloud storage and virtualization, you can eliminate IT overtime, unexpected downtime, and the costs associated with running/maintaining a data center. You can also create virtual servers as the need arises. It's obvious that virtualization is the direction in which IT is headed. Upgrading servers and running private data centers is an excellent way to waste precious dollars. It's especially wasteful in AAPS' case, given that Merit, which operates an exceptionally capable data center, is literally right across the street from Balas.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 4:22 p.m.

What I think is that this picture is a poor one to show the room is crowded. I could put what is pictured in the photo in a gymnasium and say its crowded.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 4:15 p.m.

@YpsiLivin, How dare you to use logic. Do you realize that if they were to use the &quot;cloud storage&quot; how many union workers would be out of a job? So, the millage is for equipment and infrastructure and CAN'T be used for training. Where are they going to get the money for training? How much will the training cost?


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 2:47 p.m.

Actually, when I look at the picture of Mr. Trent in the server room at Balas, one thought comes to mind: why is there a data center in Balas at all? The AAPS could save money, have better, more reliable access to its data and accommodate any future expansion by employing cloud storage and server virtualization strategies in a secure third-party facility. That would eliminate the considerable costs associated with operating a private data center altogether and eliminate hardware costs on the server end while still providing all of the IT support, data storage and expansion capacities needed for the foreseeable future.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 1 p.m.

Mr Sam, it's sad but most data centers and wiring closets look that way. (not all). It's due to organic growth and incremental improvements versus a capital outlay for replacement. You will find many pictures like that (<a href="" rel='nofollow'>;hl=en&amp;client=firefox-a&amp;hs=fNR&amp;rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&amp;prmd=imvns&amp;source=lnms&amp;tbm=isch&amp;ei=mHJPT4fFNcfVtgfwz9DADQ&amp;sa=X&amp;oi=mode_link&amp;ct=mode&amp;cd=2&amp;ved=0CDUQ_AUoAQ&amp;biw=1330&amp;bih=902)</a> . Their rack is actually not bad although the hole which he's is peering through looks suspicious.

Albert Howard

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 12:12 p.m.

Enquiring minds (parents) want to know


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 11:53 a.m.

Great questions Mary Krasan, I think most taxpayers are right there with you. And good ol Brit is back at his usual name calling, stating anyone who votes no on this bond, is a &quot;medievalist&quot;. Well Brit, most taxpayers are living in the middle ages compared to you because they don't get automatic step raises, they won't get health care for self and spouse upon retirement, they cannot retire with a pension at the age of 52 , they don't get double digit sick days, professional days,personal days, and they don't have gold plated healthcare like public union school teachers. Yes Brit, if the taxpayers are not willing to open their wallets every time you deem something worthy of more money, you resort to name calling. ABO


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 4:20 p.m.

Right. I can't believe he said that. People will vote no on a tax increase for many reasons, having nothing to do with the issue being voted on. If I were a member of the union, I would not want such language coming from a union official, nor would I want them teaching my child.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 1:25 p.m.

I think Satchwell's condescending comment may turn a lot of people off.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 11:38 a.m.

I want to see the children going back to learning to read, write and do math and science. I do not wish to continue to see children sitting at a computer --- Do they need to know how to work on computer (because after all that is how society operates these days) yes, but the other four are just as important if not even more.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 12:57 p.m.

Yes, reading, writing, mathematics, technology, language, and culture are all equally important. Being the brightest math student but not have the ability to communicate, socialize, and interact with society makes you a burden on society, not a value. All are important, and I don't think a bond proposal suggests one for the other - but maybe you know something that the article does not portray.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 12:15 p.m.

You can use the new technology to help reinforce concepts being taught in those core classes. A student who struggles with math facts can use Fasttmath program to help reinforce basic concepts. READ 180 for students struggling to learn. Co-Writer, for students who struggle with writing and the computer helps by reading back their words from the text they have typed. SS curriculum now had pre and post test that kids can take on computer. Technology is the future, and if we aren't pressing the technology, our students will be behind in our society.