Dyson calls for 'changing of the old guard' to oversee schools

Posted: Friday, September 24, 2004




Address: PO Box 896

Soldotna, AK 99669

Phone: (907) 262-5656

Employment: Retired


1. The school district budget is a constant source of debate for the school board. As a board member, what specific actions would you take to balance the budget?

For the last six to 10 years, the school district budget has always been a source of debate. When you mention specific actions, I thought it interesting our present board can't figure out what specific actions to take and me, a so-called less-experienced person, can come up with a so-called fix-it plan. But here is one idea to kick around: How about voting out some of our old-guard school board members, regroup and get with our able chief financial officer and ask her what it will take to balance our budget.

Also, I would request Melody (Douglas) come forth with an either-and-or balanced budget. Included in her suggestions will be all political hot potatoes, seemed not to be addressed or acted on in the past (cost reduction).

2. What specific ideas do you have for building legislative support for education funding?

Another interesting question. Well, how about we make sure that all our legislators run for office every year, listen to all the promises and wait for all the money to roll in.

3. Most board and community members have acknowledged the value of cocurricular activities? Do you agree? If so, outline your long-term plan for funding activities.

I have always felt that sports was an important part of our educational process in our school district. The camaraderie, discipline, teamwork and competition is much needed, as our children will go into the job market and will need an edge to survive. In regard to long-term funding, how can you outline a long-term plan for funding when question one has not been addressed? But, for sure, cocurricular funding will be one of my priorities. I can't promise you a rose garden, but I surely will try.

4. School choice (home-school programs, charter schools, etc.) are a reality in today's educational system nationwide. How would you balance offering parents choice while operating a quality public education system?

Another easy question. I have always felt that parents have a right to choose, in regard to home-school programs, charter school, etc. I would again go to my superintendent and ask her if the balance between home-schooling and operating a quality public education system can be achieved. But at this time, I would try and reverse our home-school trend and wait until I receive a report from our superintendent and then comment.

5. Outside the budget, what are your three top priorities for education in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District? How would you achieve these goals?

I feel that, at this time, we have only two top priorities:

Make sure that all of our children receive a quality education to the best of their abilities.

Get our financial house in order, so that we can accomplish the above.

How to achieve that goal is easy. A superintendent's main function is to make sure our children receive a quality education. As a school board member, we will hold our superintendent accountable in regard to accomplish the above tasks.

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