Dictator Homan strikes again

I kinda knew how the school consolidation would play out.

Last Wednesday, superintendent Homan recommended a consolidation of three of its elementary schools closing Jefferson, Longfellow and Mark Twain, in order to re-build one big school on the Mark Twain site.

While Pammy promised only a few weeks back that this was only in the research stage, now all of sudden it is go time. This is how the school board and Homan operate, pretend like nothing is a big deal, and when people aren’t paying attention work quietly in the shadows.

What do I think will happen with the school consolidation? Well it seems Pam has already made up her mind, and well, that means the school board has also (they always do what Pammy tells them to do) because fighting Homan often results in defeat. But it seems some parents are setting the stage for a battle royale;

“I think we need to get the board’s attention. We need them to vote against the consolidation, at least for now. I think we need to talk about it more,” Andersen said.

I feel sorry for Mr. Andersen and his ‘good intentions’ he hasn’t lived in SF long enough to know the wrath of Homan. I suggest he shows up to the school board meeting with a very angry mob. I found that angry mobs are more effective on Homan then honey and bees.

Personally I would like to see the small schools remain, but I don’t have a dog in this fight. I have secretly suspected that someone is interested in purchasing the Longfellow and Jefferson properties, but Homan always keeps her cards close, so we will never know those tiny details until further down the road. I hope some of the parents bring this up in the meeting. What happens to the properties once the schools close?

What also amazes me is that larger class sizes have proven not to be as effective in educating kids. But hey, who bothers with silly studies, we need  to save $800,000 so Pammy can get a raise and new truck to drive.


#1 anominous on 11.14.12 at 11:56 am

Moving them two other schools over to Mark Twain will make the teachers happy as they will be closer to Caribou.

#2 Alice15 on 11.14.12 at 12:14 pm

Well – you have one thing right – this VERY INEFFECTIVE board will sit there with their thumbs up their rears and quietly vote for this. The only thing I have gotten to relish regarding this group is Kent Alberty got his hiney kicked last week which of course means he is still on the school board which is bad. He lost because he absolutely stinks as a leader and that will show its ugly head again when it comes to saving these schools. I did find out that of all the money that schools receive from the state – 48% of it is spent on teachers, hence Pam’s salary and ridiculous vehicle which alone could nearly pay for 2 teacher’s salaries. I am all for education receiving more funding, but as a wise person said to me, until school boards learn how to manage money effectively and not allow the superintendent to run the show, the funding piece of education will always be a problem. Pam’s real problem is she lies and everyone knows it which leads to distrust. Unless you live in a cave, you know she has had conversations with Sanford regarding the Jefferson land and she lied about it. She is a horribly unethical person and it is too bad the school board does nothing about it.

#3 Detroit Lewis on 11.14.12 at 12:28 pm

Not sure if the Sanford rumor is true, but, I hope the parents ask that question at the meeting. More specifically, what will be done with the schools.

#4 Tom H. on 11.14.12 at 3:55 pm

Man, do I hate this. Schools are more than just “education facilities”. They are also neighborhood amenities — meeting places, playgrounds, landmarks. Wouldn’t you rather have a small school that your kids could walk to, rather than a hulking behemoth surrounded by busy roads and parking lots (*cough* Rosa Parks School *cough*)?

#5 Dukembe on 11.14.12 at 10:19 pm

Totally agreed, Tom H. Schools have taken it upon themselves to be or to help others be primary food providers in many settings; and I think they should consider the possibility that they have similar neighborhood missions. Mass production might not be the best model for our smallest kids’ education, especially those in neighborhoods with older schools who aren’t quite as prone to be able to do the drop-off/pick-up every day.

#6 Wayne Fanebust on 11.14.12 at 10:55 pm

If the state legislature would properly fund education, there might not be a need to consolidate and close the olds schools, no need to squeeze out another $800,000.00.

#7 Testor15 on 11.15.12 at 8:31 am

At what point does the populace of Sioux Falls get themselves out of the sheeple mode and actually do something? The dominance of the superintendent over all things education in this town and the skirting of all rules by the mayor need to be dealt with by the voters.

#8 Craig on 11.15.12 at 9:57 am

Correct me if I’m wrong, but this isn’t simply about saving $800k. If they continue to use those schools, they will need to be remodeled and/or replaced. That will result in tens of millions of dollars in costs to modernize those facilities.

It appears they are talking about building one larger school (however they did NOT state classroom sizes would increase) to replace the three existing schools. Some students would transfer to other surrounding schools as well so it isn’t like all of these students would transfer to the new Mark Twain (or whatever it is that they end up naming it).

Now maybe Sanford would be interested in the Jefferson land – but so what? It isn’t like Homan gets a piece of the pie if they sell it so I’m not sure why people act like she would personally benefit from any such deal. If anything, they could get a premium price for the land which in turn could help offset costs for the new Mark Twain.

I really don’t know enough detail here but it sure feels like there are a lot of assumptions being tossed out there and a lot of knee-jerk reactions. There are pros and cons to each scenario, but in our current budget situation, replacing or remodeling three small obsolete schools isn’t feasible, so this may simply be a matter of doing what makes the most sense.

If anyone should be upset about the idea it should be the Principals of those schools, because it would seem two of the three might be out of a job. Same goes for other administrators, office staff, custodians, librarians, food service staff etc, etc. Granted most of these people would transfer to other openings in the district but there are bound to be some staff reductions due to efficiencies found in a larger facility.

#9 Detroit Lewis on 11.15.12 at 9:58 am

Testor – Would have to agree. Something as big as a school consolidation should be decided by voters. Makes you wonder what kind of relationship Homan or some of the school board members have with agencies that give out bonds to build new schools? See if they just remodel these facilities they can take that out of operating, and better yet save some very nice historical buildings in the process. But when you get out the bulldozers and build new facilities, that takes bonds. So this argument that we will be ‘saving’ money is laughable at best. We will be more indebted and have a worse educational system that is even more inconvenient for the parents in this neighborhood. If Homan and the School Board vote for this consolidation I suggest the parents take up a referendum to overturn the decision. It’s about time someone placed a boot up Homan’s butt and remind her who she works for.

#10 Alice15 on 11.15.12 at 4:54 pm

Craig – you are correct in the fact that Homan probably isn’t on the receiving end of Sanford buying the Jefferson land, it is the fact that she outright has lied that there has never been a conversation. (As I have stated in the past, we lived on 22nd St in the late 80’s and Sioux Valley was sniffing out land and sellers at that point. There is no way they haven’t approached the distict regarding the Jefferson land as they bought out the seminary and all of its property which is adjacent to Jefferson). Just be honest. People may like it, but at least have some integrity and be honest to the people that are paying your salary and paying for your overpriced Denali.

#11 Alice15 on 11.15.12 at 4:55 pm

Oops – People may not like it.

#12 Craig on 11.15.12 at 9:54 pm

Alice you can’t say she outright lied… you are making a rather large assumption there aren’t you?

How about we base our statements upon facts rather than what we want to believe.

#13 CH on 11.16.12 at 8:55 am

Take a look at who has been buying up all the homes in the area in the past few years and maybe you will see who is wanting the property more than Sanford and its not Avera. I will give you a hint… For profit medical Co.

#14 Alice15 on 11.16.12 at 3:51 pm

Wait and see. The vote is in the next few weeks. I won’t have to tell you I told you so.

#15 Helga on 11.16.12 at 8:40 pm

The 15’s are absolutely right IMHO.
Testor15 said “At what point does the populace of Sioux Falls get themselves out of the sheeple mode and actually do something?” And I would add the whole state and then simply ask what the hell is wrong with people when they will not stand up for their own best interests?
Alice15 said “until school boards learn how to manage money effectively and not allow the superintendent to run the show, the funding piece of education will always be a problem.” I totally agree.
School boards and superintendents, they are well past their use by date. It is time they prove their worth as opposed to hiring money managers and some educators to run school systems. Certainly managers can not do worse.

#16 l3wis on 11.16.12 at 9:28 pm

Helga – It is the money managers that are probably doing the best job of all, maybe 🙂

Alice – I think she drives a Tahoe, not a Denali, but whatever, same gas-guzzling American POS truck.

Like I said earlier, would like to hear more about a ‘supposed’ meeting between Sanford and Homan. Like I said, I think parents need to POUND on this point at the meeting. Keep asking the question until Pammy cracks.

#17 Tom H. on 11.19.12 at 9:35 am

Also, in my opinion, Jefferson is a nice example of classic school architecture — again, compare it to the hulking, sprawling behemoths like Rosa Parks that we seem to be churning out today. It fits with the neighborhood, sits on an appropriate footprint, isn’t dominated by parking lots. It would be a shame to lose it. (BTW, why don’t we have multi-story schools anymore?)

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