Finding Heart in School Budgets

OK, I’ll admit it.  Eduflack has always been a data guy.  I like to see the proof.  I want to measure effectiveness based on outcomes.  I make jokes about those who emphasize (or solely focus on) the inputs that go into our educational systems.

As many readers know, one of the hats I wear away from this blog is that of local school board member.  Like most communities, this year we are grappling with larger student populations, higher costs, and shrinking municipal budgets.  For some, it is easy to make this a green eyeshade exercise, basing budgetary decisions solely on the dollars and cents.  But for a school system, doing so jeopardizes the very operation.  That “numbers only” approach forgets that schools are only as good as the educators who staff them.
What do I mean?  Check out a recent commentary I penned for one of my local media outlets.  Somewhere in the budget process — particularly for schools — we need to identify, and support, the heart and soul of our schools and our community.  Yes, we need to develop and pass responsible budgets.  But we can’t lose sight of the mission as we are looking at those columns of dollar figures.  

2 thoughts on “Finding Heart in School Budgets

  1. Education has so much to learn. It needs to learn, needs to see, what is happening to it, and what it should do in the face of this happening. What is happening to it is that it is being pressed increasingly into the service of the kind of knowing that facilitates control. Inasmuch as our will-to-control has cut our consciousness to fit its needs—tailored our awareness to fit its imperatives—our educational attempts naturally conform to this tailoring… If we have trimmed our epistemological sails too close to the scientific desiderata of objectivity, prediction, number and control, and it is this that has constricted our world view and brought alienation, it seems only sensible to consider alternative guidelines—perhaps even opposite ones to get the matter in sharp relief. The alternatives to objectivity, prediction, control and number are subjectivity, surprise, surrender, and words.Huston Smith, Beyond the Post-Modern Mind, 1982, pages 79, 84

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