Editor's Note (The View From Here)

A Couple of Things

Too Political

I recently received some feedback concerning an article about school funding that we linked to in one of our newsletters. The person who wrote to us considered the article to be too political. Granted, the article did ask if President Trump had missed an opportunity by not mentioning education funding during his State of the Union address, but the article was not so much about the president’s address, but about the need for more funding—from anywhere—for our decaying school facilities.

Our editors make it a point to avoid politics in our coverage of news and issues, but that has become increasingly difficult during the past 10 or more years. Education funding is, by its nature, a political issue. In fact, almost all aspects of public education have become political issues on some level. We will continue to strive to keep our coverage of these topics as unbiased as possible, but simply raising the topics could be perceived by some as crossing a line. To those people, I apologize in advance.

School Security and Safety

Another topic that can easily become political, especially considering the events of the past few months. But let’s consider a couple of security and safety concerns that occur more often, and need to be addressed in order to keep our kids and our schools safe.

IT Security—in his Emerging Technology column, Glenn Meeks talks about the ever-more complicated task of keeping a school’s IT infrastructure secure. It’s getting pretty intense. I have empathy for district officials and their tech people who are having a difficult time trying to keep up with the ever-more sophisticated cyberattacks while operating on a shoestring budget. It is a tough situation, but it needs to be a priority in both policy and funding.

Student Safety—I had the opportunity to write the Legally Speaking column this month. I wasn’t aware that emergency evacuation plans for students with disabilities, in some areas of the country, are not fully addressing the needs of those students. Some emergency plans state that while the rest of the school is evacuating during an emergency, persons with mobility issues are required to “shelter in place” in a stairwell until a first responder arrives to help them out of the building. There must be better ways. I would not want to be that person or the first responder in that situation. This seems like an issue that could be addressed with a fairly minimal effect to the budget while, at the least, relieving some students’ anxiety and, possibly, saving both students’ and responders’ lives.

This article originally appeared in the March 2018 issue of School Planning & Management.

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Has interest in sustainability initiatives—from alternative energy and water conservation to “green” landscaping, recycling, fossil-fuel divestment, local sourcing, and more—waned in your district?


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