"But if it is believed that these elementary schools will be better managed by...any other general authority of the government, than by the parents within each ward [district], it is a belief against all experience." --Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Support Local Control

"The supreme principle of liberty suggests that it is better to risk erring in the direction of allowing too much rather than too little freedom." --W.H. Hutt

One of the main principles I have championed is Local Control of our schools.  Recently, the State School Board changed their rules on Middle School course requirements.  Each district is still obligated to provide the elective courses like PE, fine arts, languages and health, but each district is now allowed to set those requirements at the local level instead of being dependent on the state.

News outlets have characterized this as eliminating Music and PE from middle school.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The local school boards (like Alpine's) now have the opportunity to decide what courses our community wants to require (outside of the state-mandates ones of English, Math, History, and Science).  This is what Local Control looks like!

My personal belief is our local board will adopt something similar to what is already required.  However, it will allow us to put a policy in place to accommodate exceptions for students who need them.  Up until now, students were obligated to be treated the same, even IF there were legitimate reasons for wanting an exception.  (A child with sever food allergies, still had to take the CTE class that included foods, for example.)

Please take 30 seconds to sign this petition in support of this new flexibility for local school boards and our students.  Then please share with 5 of your friends!  https://www.change.org/p/utah-state-school-board-support-utah-middle-school-flexibility-and-local-control/nftexp/ex5/control/772398820?recruiter=772398820&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_for_starters_page&utm_content=ex5%3Acontrol

The Utah Education Association and other groups have filed a request for a hearing to contest this new rule.  They have paid lobbyist and marketing people who are supported by dues-paying members.  The rest of us average parents just have blogs and social media.  If you think local control is worth it, then please sign and share this petition.  A handful of us local parents and board members have requested to participate as well in order to speak in favor of this rule change.  A hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 20 @ 5pm at the State Board Offices in Salt Lake.  Please share your support.

For more information, see my previous blog post here.

Here is a screen shot of the changes.

Note: "an LEA board [that's Alpine School District] may: require a student to complete additional courses; or set minimum credit requirements."

Local control allows us to trust our local boards, our local teachers, and our parents!  We do not need to be told what to do at the state level for fear we will choose incorrectly.  If our board chooses incorrectly, then YOU can hold us accountable.  (And that's much easier than at the state level.)