Sioux Falls School Board Forum, May 18, 2017


#1 Emoluments Clause on 05.19.17 at 6:13 pm

I attended this forum and found all of the candidates to be quite complimentary and the other “complementary” as well. As the video proves it, they all seemed quite civil with little or no disagreement, in terms of their positions.

The only exception to this rule was candidate Mickelson’s invoking of the phrase “workforce development” a couple times during a discussion of vocational education, which caused candidate Gliarmis at one point to briefly rebuttal that phrase with a concern for making “well rounded students” in our school district as well. And I thought Gilarmis’s brief rebuttal was the one real highlight of the forum, but unfortunately that debate ended quickly, however, but I question if it should have.

Candidate Mickelson’s commitment to “workforce development” with our school district was further buttressed with her thoughts that somehow “workforce development” could address our need for more workers in our local economy as evident by our low unemployment rate. But I question if a low unemployment rate necessarily itself identifies a greater need for “workforce development,” rather it identifies more of a greater need for higher wages in this town. Because if you pay them a just pay, that is, then they, the worker, will come with or without an emphasis upon “workforce development,” I believe.

And I also, question if it is the duty of our school district to be hijacked for the mere interests of the business community. Now, I realize that a good educational system needs to train future workers for our economy, but one of the greater duties of such an educational system is to produce what Gliarmis identified, which are “well rounded students” and not merely, however, future cogs for the business community. Because reality may eventually make us all merely “cogs” of the economy, but it is not the duty of a school district to facilitate this or limit our hopes and dreams for the future, however.

Rather, I believe, it is the duty of a school district to develop the individual and thus for the greater good, and not develop an educational system, which merely channels individuals for the interests of some who offer “trickle-down” hopes as the only true promise; which the phrase “workforce development,”an inability to recognize the dysfunctional local wage scales, and its greater advocacy of vocational education I am afraid only offer.

Now, I am not against vocational education at the high school level, but I am against a greater vocational education advocacy, when students graduate from high school without the ability to write a complete sentence, do simple math without a calculate, understand how to figure out a percentage, identify the three branches of government, or even identify the name of a Shakespearian play. And whether given high school graduates plan to go to college or not, I believe it is the duty of a school district to not only give them the opportunity for such an education, but the actual outcome as well. Else, such an educational system has failed its true mission, which is not to process or channel students, rather it is to prepare them for all the potential opportunities of life and to create a better prepared and informed citizen as a result, who can contribute not only just to the business community, rather instead to the community of the whole.

Thus, its the duty of a school district to produce “well rounded students” and it is the duty of the business community to produce jobs with just pay. It is not the duty of the school district to be co-opted by the business community so that it can merely be, intended or not, an accomplice to a low wage, actually suppressed wage, business plan by our local business community leaders.

And I am afraid when one running for the school board invokes phrases like “workforce development,” then one is advocating not to make great citizens of our students, rather just great cogs for the interests of others, who embrace nothing more than “trickle-down” promises for our children and their futures….

#2 l3wis on 05.19.17 at 7:35 pm

EC, I watched this in replay, but did catch Mickelson saying that and really cringed. I agree, they are all great candidates and if I were to pick a winner on enthusiasm it would be Diamiatros, but I also think Dobberpuhl was well versed, and throughout the debate he had others agreeing with him or piggybacking him. He came out of the gate strong with the ‘poverty’ statement and providing equal education for all.

I think Mickelson truly understands the issues, but she misses the mark, especially with her ‘workforce’ statement. Her elitism also really showed when she was wishy washy on pre-K education then admitted she was wealthy enough to send her kids on her own expense, said it was good for them, then really didn’t say how she would support of fund it. Seemed she just basically said, work harder so you can pay for it like I did.

#3 Emoluments Clause on 05.19.17 at 8:11 pm

No doubt, Dobberpuhl is a sound candidate and his ‘poverty statement’ was spot on. But what does it really say about us, when a school board potentially has to be the frontline in dealing with the issue of poverty. I am not surprised they see it, but it’s the City, the State, and the Feds who should be held accountable for it. The School Board should not have to deal with this issue.

Dobberpuhl also talked about how 44% of the students in our district receive reduced lunch prices. Wow, I wonder if that has anything to do with their parents not being paid enough? Yet, Mickelson wants to give the low wage business community another handout through “workforce development” nonsense and a propensity for greater vocational education with our finite education funds.

Maybe one of the ways Mickelson could help find a way to fund pre-K education is to make sure her husband’s political party adequately funds education and for starts doesn’t take away designations for education from the 1/2 penny sales tax increase…. Maybe she is literally “miss(ing) “the (M)ark.” 😉

Isn’t it interesting that Mickelson has no problem in using taxpayers’ money for the business community via vocational education, but struggles to commit public monies like for pre-K education, when it could directly benefit the public…. “Trickle-down” once again…….