Thursday, July 15, 2010

Challenges for the new TPS superintendent

According to today's paper, Jerome Pecko, the new superintendent of Toledo Public Schools, will have an "unorthodox employment contract."

Apparently, it's 'unorthodox' because it includes performance goals. But I think many people will say 'it's about time!'

One of the 'goals' is to get the voters to approve a 7.8 mill levy in November.

I'm going to go out on a limb and make a prediction about the strategy for this levy. I believe they'll try to convince us that the new superintendent 'deserves' the funds to make the changes he believes are necessary and that we need to pass this levy so he has the funds to do the job we just hired him to do.

This is one of the few arguments for increasing our taxes that might actually resonate with some voters. We certainly don't want to put our new superintendent into a no-win situation now, do we???

Of course, the fact that he's expected to accept the job offer and actually sign his employment contract KNOWING that the district faces a $44 million deficit for the upcoming school year probably won't even be mentioned, much less considered.

As an aside, I'm not sure I believe the job of the superintendent is to 'pass levies.' It seems to me that task should fall solely on the elected Board of Education and that the role of the superintendent would be to administer the school system, producing educated graduates with the funds allotted to him...but what do I know?

So we'll await the signed employment contract and see if it contains the levy provision - and then we'll wait for the advertising campaign to see if I'm right.

1 comment:

Tim Higgins said...

Maggie,

I am sorry to say that you are probably right with the approach to the levy ballot issue.

On the other hand, TPS deserves more of its superintendent than a shill for increased taxes. The taxpayers of Toledo deserve more bang for their buck in the money they already deliver to TPS. Most importantly, the students in TPS deserve a proper education.

I fear that none of these deserved goals will be met and as a consequence that this effort, like many efforts of TPS, will meet with failure.

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