Entries Tagged 'SF School District' ↓
May 14th, 2013 — SF School District
Education: Kilian Community College, A.A. Liberal Arts-2005; University of Sioux Falls, B.A. Political Science/History-2008; University of South Dakota, M.A. History-2013.
Occupation: Server, Darden Restaurants, Inc.; Volunteer Policy Advocate, South Dakota Voices for Children; Board Member, Sioux Falls Board of Historic Preservation.
Family: wife, Katie; daughter, Kylie.
Years in Sioux Falls: 13.
I was at a School Board public information meeting last September, interested in the school consolidation that affected Longfellow, Jefferson, and Mark Twain elementary schools. What struck me as odd during this meeting was that although the School Board was asking for public input on the consolidation, they had already made up their minds on the issue before hand. How long? Who knows, but I didn’t appreciate being told that my input was integral to the process while the decision had already been made.
I got into this election with the firm conviction that I would not keep the public out of the loop. Let me ask you a question: how many people within the Sioux Falls School District can name all 5 school board members? My guess is not a majority. This is not the public’s fault, it is the board members’ fault. Becoming more visible and meeting with the district employees, teachers, parents, and the taxpayers on a regular basis is a fundamental goal of mine, and using this input from these individuals to accomplish a set of positive goals is very important to me. The School Board must be more transparent, and I vow to make this happen when elected.
I want to implement a program of more one-on-one math and reading tutorials for the K-5 students. These are the two toughest subjects for many of these children, and the district’s policy of group interaction within these subjects needs to be amended. By doing this we will be instilling confidence in our public school youth which will set them up for better academic success moving forward. A positive, happy, confident child is a better, more attentive student!
Massive Open Online Courses are the next step in the district’s technological future. I want to start using MOOC’s in the district’s CTE and New Technology High School to keep these young adults interested in their focus of study. While this is similar to distance learning, it can be organized quickly and efficiently with immediate feedback from the program instructors. By taking the time to help students focus on a particular subject of interest during the school day will better prepare them for their futures after they leave the district. This program can connect across disciplines, reduce teacher shortages, and build a community of students and teachers without communication barriers as it can be used in any language. With a growing and diverse district this technology program will become increasingly useful.
As a school board member I will preserve the quality of the school district, achieve positive goals, embrace the new district wide technology program, be open minded and carry no prejudices, and assist every parent, teacher, district employee, and taxpayer with any questions or feedback at anytime. A School Board member is not hired by the administration, it is an elected official whose job is to represent the public, and this is the way my elected position will be handled-with the focus on doing what is right for the everyone in he Sioux Falls School District.
Vote for Joshua James Schorzmann on May 21st for Sioux Falls School Board!
April 18th, 2013 — Property Taxes, SF School District
As I was reading this article about teacher raises (which I fully support) something else in the article concerned me;
The school district can afford the pay hike because it has spent less than it planned to for years and has an oversized reserve fund. Their 2013-14 budget alone looks to spend $6.6 million of their $22 million in general fund reserves.
$22 Million in Reserve Funds! As our property taxes continue to increase why does the school district have so much in reserves, when . . .
1) They haven’t discussed substitute teacher pay increases.
2) The city continues to give out property tax breaks in the form of TIF’s to private developers.
3) There has never been a discussion about building a public indoor pool at one of the High Schools.
It seems the school district is swimming in money, so why do my taxes continue to go up?
April 11th, 2013 — Elections, SF School District
The main reason I took out the nominating petitions was to encourage others to run. This has happened. I have often contested that I wield a much bigger sword on my blog then I ever would on any council, commission or board.
Not to mention, I like to have a lot of fun in my personal life, and sometimes that ‘fun’ doesn’t really matchup with political office. Well maybe it does
Anyhoo, I want to thank everyone who signed my petition.
Maybe someday Detroit Lewis will serve publicly, but not today.
March 12th, 2013 — Elections, SF School District, Sioux Falls
I have at least one supporter
Well I know of least one challenger to Alberty and Westra.
After a long conversation and consultation with my wife and children (actually just my dog, Sodapop) I picked up nominating petitions just a short while ago. I decided to AT least get the petitions signed and turned in. This DOES NOT mean I am running for sure. If NO other candidates decide to challenge Alberty and Westra, at least they will have one to debate. The city council may be able to bail on the Spring election, but the school district will not.
Please, People, help a brother out and pickup the petitions!
MY PLATFORM (if I choose to walk the plank)
Indoor Public Pool in conjunction with the city.
Substitute teacher pay.
Property taxes in reference to people without children in the district.
No RUBBERSTAMPING of Homan’s policies.
March 11th, 2013 — SF School District, Sioux Falls
SF School Board members don’t get a set pay, they get paid $75 for attending ‘meetings’. They do have to submit when they attended an event, I believe with the finance office, and they can also choose not to submit, like attending a football game, etc.
I added up what the school board members made between July 2012 – December 2012 (six months).
Some of the interesting events they asked for a $75 meeting payment on were things like ‘new teacher breakfast’ (all attended except Morrison), a ribbon cutting (all attended except Parker), back to school greeting (Parker, Thoelke), several miscellaneous meetings with Homan (ALL), Chamber Annual Meeting (ALL claimed except Morrison), Westra got paid for every single Sports Authority meetings she attended, she also submitted and got paid for attending a Chamber Mixer.
MEETING REIMBURSEMENT BETWEEN JULY-DECEMBER 2012
Trust me, I would rather see them just be paid a flat salary, like $5000 a year. It is not a lucrative political job by any means. But the $75 per meeting payment plan is kinda silly when you can call having a drink at a Chamber Mixer, a meeting.
March 5th, 2013 — Elections, SF School District
If you are thinking about running for school board, you can pickup your petitions Tuesday March 12 and return them by April 12. You need 20 valid signatures. I know that Julie Westra and Kent Alberty are running for re-election. I have also heard word that the Mark Twain neighborhood parents are looking to recruit a candidate and put their full support behind them. The Dems have also been seeking candidates, I think they would like to unseat Julie (Alberty is a Democrat).
I will also be posting information soon about what the school board members are getting paid.
February 4th, 2013 — Elections, SF City Council, SF School District, Sioux Falls
I see that after the Sioux Falls City council has denied a special snowgate election this Spring with the school district, they are going to discuss how they will hold special elections with the School District in the future;
#51 Deffered: Joint elections – agreement to share expenses.
I have often believed that the SNAFU with the School District and the missing mini-van ballots was one of the reason(s) the city council denied the snowgate election this Spring. The city simply doesn’t want to work with the school district in the future for special elections, that is also why they have allowed this Contract (sfsdcity) to be deferred for so long. I would suspect this will probably set a precedent in the future, I suspect future councils will continue to deny joint elections with the school district. It is a shame really when local government officials from different branches cannot get along and work together, because ultimately in the end, they all work for us, the taxpayer.
As I said to a friend the other day about our city, county and school district local government,
“It’s a F’ing mess!”
January 28th, 2013 — Pam Homan, SF School District
Makes you wonder if her secretary asked to be terminated?
Pam Homan is looking for a secretary. Again.
Laurie Morrison, hired in September after Karin Schultz moved to Las Vegas, was fired last week, according to the personnel report for today’s school board meeting.
I also find it interesting she is looking for a FEMALE assistant? Isn’t that discrimination? Of course, since when does Pammy follow rules?
January 20th, 2013 — SF School District
You can pickup your petitions March 12, if you want to run for school board. Hopefully there will be some strong candidates that will run and win, and standup to the Duper Super.
December 30th, 2012 — SF School District, Sioux Falls
I have often thought the ED board wakes up about every six months and goes . . . “Gee, uh, maybe we should write an editorial that shows the voting public that we open our 4th estate ears once in awhile.” Well, today they decided that they should say a little something about the school board not really doing anything except rubber stamping Dictator Homan’s policies;
That said, the board should enter the discussion and ask questions when administrators propose policies representing broad, substantive changes in providing educational services.
That is why it is puzzling to learn that some Sioux Falls School Board members seemed uninformed of a major change in the instruction of the district’s at-risk students who attend Joe Foss alternative school.
What information do they need? This is how it goes before every board meeting;
• They receive their $75 dollar check for showing up and keeping a seat warm (while breathing).
• Before they start voting on the agenda items, Pammy gives them all the look of death.
• They all vote yes, then go home.
Who wouldn’t want this kind of gig?
School district patrons trust their administrators to act in their best interest. But they also elect school board members to do due diligence on important decisions.
No, we don’t trust them, especially after they don’t even bother to read a contract before approving it. One of the reasons many people don’t bother to vote in a school board election is because they already know who runs the district, Homan. You could have polished turds as school board members and the results would be the same. Hail Homan!
This is why it is important that people run for school board, people who put cotton balls in their ears whenever Homan is addressing them.
This one should have received greater public scrutiny before the vote.
And where was our 4th Estate before that vote?