Dyson: Tax relief, resource use, education on agenda

Seat 1 Kalifornsky

Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Name: Eugene L. "Gene" Dyson

Age: 74

Occupation: Retired

Family: Wife, Yvonne; children, Gene and Suzy

Education: University of Maryland

Organizations and special interests: N/A

Previously held elected office: Central Kenai Peninsula Hospital Service Area Board

1. Are more schools going to be consolidated in the future or are there other solutions to the issue of declining enrollment?

My conception of the future is that its here, now. Talk of consolidation has gone on for four years. The School Board, for all its talk about the future, doesn't appear to have a definition of what it might look like.

Increasing funding for the district will be a helpful action but it can only be a temporary fix. Declining enrollment has a hand in that figure and the Board hasn't addressed other options.

2. One of the board's goals for the coming year is to evaluate board policies, bylaws and protocol. Is there something in particular that needs to be addressed?

In the coming year, the School Board policies and by-laws need to clearly delineate their responsibility and accountability to the parents and tax payers of the Borough.

Mountain View consolidation is a case in point. Parental input was not considered on certain important issues and lots of hard feelings ensued.

This district operates top-down in an authoritative manner and morale is already a problem without alienating even more people.

3. If the Legislature changes the way it funds public schools and increases funding for the district, what should the district's priorities be for any additional funding?

The District's top priorities should always be the following: a well-rounded education (music, band, P.E. and the arts as well as more electives at the high school level). This would require adding more regular instruction teachers as well for the classrooms.

Vocational education has always taken the backburner in the last ten years.

I thought it interesting that after attending a forum last Thursday, voc ed programs are doing wonderful things here. My question is, where was the District ten years ago when this was needed the most?

Where are their priorities for this vital, job-entry instruction? I make it one of my foremost.

4. Have you visited a district school recently? What did you do while you were there?

I visited a school recently, one of the newly created ones, to see what sort of innovations were being formulated for high school aged kids.

Given the number of students leaving school before graduating, this is a very important area to address. I spent time discussing the program with the director and found it to have good potential to serve kids who might not find their way in a more traditional placement.

This is an area that the Board must address and will be a priority with me. Visiting schools regularly and listening to teachers, parents and students will be one of my personal goals as a board member. I welcome conversation from all.



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