Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Flint School CLosing

FLINT CITIZENS, ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT SCHOOLS CLOSING? GET INVOLVED! By Terry Bankert. YOU ARE ALREADY INVOLVED THROUGH A CITIZENS GROUP EMPANELED BY THE FLINT BOARD OF EDUCATION THAT HAS RELEASED A REPORT THAT CONCLUDES FLINT HAS MANY SCHOOLS THAT MUST BE CLOSED. The Flint Board of Education by summer will decide which Flint Schools to Close.For economic reasons many must and will be closed. But which ones? ARE YOU A RESPONSIBLE FLINT CITIZEN? How is a responsible community involved in the decision making process of which schools to close? You, Flintoid's already are. A Citizens Committee guided by THE hired guns Ira Rutherford and staff supported by a big time school design outfit, has produced a mind numbing document called a Facilities Advisory report. YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS HAVE PRODUCED A REPORT Citizens, your friends and neighbors, have worked thousands of hours to produce this report. Responsible media commercial and otherwise are asked to help distribute this report, promote the community informational meetings and encourage responsible citizens to share their opinion to the Board and support as a unified community AND BACK the final decision of the board. My suppoort of the Boards decision will be premised on their listening to the community. WHAT WE SHOULD NOT WANT TO HAPPEN IS FOR THE BIG MOUTHS TO GET THE SPOTLIGHT. The last thing I desire is for a bunch of loud mouth naysayers who have not read the report or attended the informational meetings to spout off to the press and make us, who care about this town, all look like a bunch of fools. On the other hand we must help create an environment where the board is strongly encourage to follow the citizens report and the views of responsible citizens who disagree wilth all or part of the report. Citizen input is a good thing. Remember the Flint Board of Education is composed of our neighbors and friends who chose to run for this non paying office. If you hear the opportunist or justly angry citizens saying things that just are not true I challenge that your reponsibility is to speak up. You can only do that if you educate yourself and then others. Many of our friends were on that committee. I presume the citizens committee was promised they would not have to take any heat for their report. But those that do mind heat should be actively involved and visable in this process. They said many schools have to be closed? Many of use attended a Flint Board of Education meeting recently to find out which schools are to be closed. What we were given was the community report on the process used by a citizens group to create options of several senerios which determined which schools to keep open. It irritated many of us to no end. We learned that many schools have to be closed? The Flint Board of Education now has scheduled a series of informational meeting mis characterized as town hall meetings. The process of the selection of the citizens committee ,its decision making process , and the resulting document will be explained and handed out. A hired gun will facilitate/control the presentation to the community of the citizens report and channel the inevitable community comment. Unknown is whether any of the citizens that actually wrote the report will be present at these meetings. At each informational meeting we will be essentilly presented with the conclusion that many schools have to be closed . The Administration of the Flint Schools led by our able superintendent mean while , as is her responsibility, has a process by which her administration will propose a plan for school closings to take to the Flint Board of education. She has pledged to consider the findings of the citizens group. But her's is the final responsibility to propose a plan to the decison makers, the Flint Board Of Education. She must inevitably conclude that many schools have to be closed. Someday soon our elected Flint Board of Education will then deliberate on the report of the superintendent of schools. The report will find its way to the full board and then committee or committe then to full board The deliberation will be premised on the fact that many schools have to be closed. This process will inevitably lead to a public meeting, where a plan is voted for adoption to resolve the issues that many schools have to be closed. Remember this process , your formalized citizen involvement, has been going on for a year. That being the process of deciding which schools to close. You the community have been represented by a citizens committee. They have issued a report, which is a recommended process to decide which schools to close. The report has been presented to the board and later to the community 4 times, vapors of differing senerios of which schools are to be closed has been whispeing about. These options are now in the light of day for you to see if you will kindly open your eyes. Citizens have had a variety ways to be involved in this controlled process of community release of a hot button decision on identifying schools to be closed. Why?Because many schools have to be closed. Remember the given we all know is that Flint has too many schools because of our declining student population and declining school revenues. The moment the schools are identified a thousand people who "suddenly "hear that their favorite school is to be closed will rise up and shout their discontent. NOT MY SCHOOL, CLOSE THEIRS! They will say how dare you close my neighborhood school. Recalls will be threatened , name calling will begun, board members threatened, coalitions will be formed, media coverage will be skewed, meetings will be packed, opportuninistic candidates will run for the board saying " Vote for me and no schools will be closed". Angry voices will say You need to listen to the community. ..........Nonsense THEY ALREADY ARE In the end schools will be closed because they must. Last minuet community eruptions probably will not have much. To have an affect you must educate yourself and become involved now. The community has been involved in this process for a year by the actions of a citizens group that has produced a report on the process for deciding which schools to close. Community information meeting are sheduled to present this citizens report to the community. Not the boards pick for which schools are to be closed.The Communities (citizens,you,) report on the process is before you.The report will help you to create your own informed opinion and arm you for participation in meaningful community debate. I argue that responsible citizens should read this report discuss it with their friends. We should advocate to the board that they follow this citizens road map to school closures or explain to us why and how they have deviated. At the community hearings just prior to the final board vote should be on the issues of board compliance or divergence with the citizens report. If you are a responsible Flint Citizen get involved in this process early and lets raise the pitch of responsible citizens that will be truth sayers to the uniformed. Help your city, help your kids get involved now in this process. Here is the committee report http://www.flintschools.org/pdfs/FACrpt2008_12.pdf Here are the community informational meeting FLINTOIDS-PUT THESE IN YOUR CALENDAR AND ATTEND ONE PLEASE Community Meeting to discuss the citizens report from the Citizens Advisory Committee' MONDAY, 1/26/09, CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL 7 pm Cafeteria. TUESDAY , 1/27/09, NORTHERN HIGH SCHOOL 7 pm Cafeteria WEDNESDAY, 1/28/09 SOUTHWESTEREN ACADEMY 7 p.m. Cafeteria THURSDAY, 1/29/09 NORTHWESTERN HIGH SCHOOL 7 p.m. Cafeteria http://www.flintschools.org/ I am involed in a group that is focused on this issue, but I am not the spokespeson. These words are mine alone. You many be in other groups with school interest ,get this information out to your friends. WHY? BECAUSE MANY SCHOOLS HAVE TO BE CLOSED. The Flint Board of Education will soon pick which ones, schools to close, by resolution and budget. Responsible citizens should be involved early in this process and promote all or part of the community report or responsibly tell us why you disagree. Why? Because many schools have to be closed and when the ones to be closed are picked citizens will become angry when their childens school or their neighborhood school is planned to be closed. Responsible citizens get informed and get involved. What are your thoughts? Posted here and Good Moning Flint by Terry bankert If you want to give your opinion I suggest a thread on Flint Talk that follows. http://flinttalk.com/viewtopic.php?p=40087#40087 OR SEND ME AN EMAIL AND I WILL SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS A BEST I CAN. ATTORNEYBANKERT@YAHOO.COM 112901

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