Topic

Education

2,614 petitions

Update posted 10 hours ago

Petition to Flagstaff Unified School District, Kara Kelty, Carol Haden, Kathryn Kozak, Christine Fredericks, Carole Gilmore

Reopen Flag Middle School!!

Flagstaff has two public middle schools located on the same North-South corridor, only 1.8 miles away from each other.  FUSD continues to lose middle schoolers (and upper elementary, in anticipation of middle school) to charter schools because families want a middle school closer to home or one that has a better reputation.  There is no doubt that countless families each year from the Fort Valley corridor and University heights, among others, are faced with the choice of either staying with FUSD or going to a closer charter school.  Why are these our only choices?  Shouldn't the kids on this side of town get the benefits of community bonds and strong neighborhoods that come with being able to go to your neighborhood public middle school?   Personally, growing up I could walk or bike to my elementary, middle and high school.  Almost every one of my friends went to all the same schools as me and lived nearby.  That's what I want for my kids, too.  And I want to support FUSD.  Public education is what most of us grew up on, and it served us well. I'm not going to suggest exactly how FUSD do this, but clearly the district has knowledgeable and creative decision-makers that can come up with a good plan given viable options based on financial and enrollment information.  The district may initially say the upgrades to the building will be too costly, but we know there's other schools getting renovations and priorities can be shifted based on what makes the most sense for the district and city as a whole. Let's re-open Flag Middle!!  Situated to the west of downtown, Flag Middle is perfectly located to become (again) a wonderful neighborhood school to many.   A school we've loved . . well, never really stopped loving. Check out our page on Facebook and like us to get updates: https://m.facebook.com/Re-Open-Flag-Middle-2135740750077359      

FUSD Supporter
184 supporters
Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to Kish Khemani

Save the Old Town School of Folk Music

It's time for new leadership at the Old Town School of Folk Music. With the announcement Oct. 22 that the school will sell its historic home in Lincoln Park, one of Chicago's most important cultural and educational institutions has hit rock bottom.  The School's board and leadership team would have people believe that the 909 W. Armitage building -- where classes have been held for 50 years! -- is being sold to create an endowment.  What they don't want to admit is that it is their mismanagement that has jeopardized the School's future. In 2009, in the midst of the worst recession since the 1930s, the School’s board of directors committed millions of dollars to put up a second building in Lincoln Square, thinking that expansion there would increase student enrollment. Lo and behold, enrollment did not increase. Instead, this foolish decision saddled the School with enormous debt and with increased operating costs -- which led the leadership to increase the price of classes dramatically, which further reduced enrollment, creating the death spiral the school now confronts. The Armitage building is being sold because the School can't afford to operate three buildings at current class enrollment levels. But by selling the building, the School will see student enrollment decline even further, which means the death spiral will continue. It's sad, especially for the teaching staff, because when enrollment drops, they lose their livelihoods. We need new leadership -- board members who care about the students and faculty first, and professional managers who know something about how to run a multimillion-dollar business and cultural institution. Despite the lack of enrollment growth, and the School's financial difficulties, the school has substantially increased compensation for its executive director, Bau Graves.  Graves' total compensation rose 52 percent from 2009 to 2016 (from $166,593 to $254,871), according to the school's IRS Form 990s.  How can the board justify paying the executive director a quarter of a million dollars a year when the School's finances have gotten steadily worse during his tenure?  And when he and his team have demonstrated through their actions that they would rather diminish the student experience -- by raising class prices and cutting programs -- than learn 21st century marketing techniques? We believe it is absolutely possible for the School to grow its student enrollment.  It should own an amazing database of members and students who – by enrolling in classes and attending concerts – have told the School a lot about their musical interests.  This information can be used to create targeted marketing initiatives for classes and programs.  A modest investment in analyzing the School’s customer database and building digital marketing programs will do far more to address the School’s long-term financial problems than the cost-cutting measures the current leadership prefers. It is time to recommit to the School's core mission -- to be a SCHOOL.  A place where students learn and become part of a musical community, and where amazing musicians support their ability to make music by sharing their gifts and talents.  We, the most loyal students and friends of the Old Town School, call on board chairman Kish Khemani, other board members and their administration to serve their community better by taking the following actions: 1.    Hire professional managers who understand how to operate a nonprofit business in the 21st century. 2.    Find new board members who believe it is possible to *grow* student enrollment with the right marketing strategies -- and will insist on hiring a staff who will do just that. 3.    Provide more transparency about the decision to sell the Armitage building – give us evidence that the sale is part of a coherent plan to restore the School's financial health, not just a desperate short-term fix.  Questions we would like answered: What is the projected annual income that will come from the endowment created by the sale of the building? What guarantee is there that this endowment will be protected – and grown – rather than raiding it annually to close budget deficits? How much revenue will be lost by canceling classes at Armitage, and how does that amount compare to the annual income from the endowment? What will closing the Armitage building mean for the income of faculty? How many staff positions, full- and part-time, will be lost as a result of the closure? 4.    Guarantee that the School's faculty and staff will not be harmed financially by the sale of the Armitage building. 5.    Conduct a thorough and professional examination of class pricing to determine whether changes in price structure -- for instance, lower prices for some classes or additional discounts for students who take multiple classes -- could actually increase revenue for the School. 6.    Engage professional assistance to improve marketing -- especially digital marketing -- to increase student enrollment. 7.    Create some kind of student council or advisory board to serve as a forum for discussion of school policies and to provide a conduit for student input to the administration. After all, student tuition is by far the largest source of revenue for the school.  We know of no other school that lacks some kind of student government or advisory board.

Save Old Town School
10,168 supporters
Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to Del Phillips III Ph.D, Jeremy Johnson, Jim Hawkins, Sarah Andrews

Stop Stage 1 - Sumner County Schools Temporary Rezoning Plan

Who are we? Stop Stage 1 is a group of concerned families and citizens affected by the proposed temporary changes to Sumner County school zones. Our goals are to provide alternative solutions to the current proposal while remaining empathetic to the needs of the county as a whole. We have two areas of focus: Stop Stage 1 (Temporary Rezoning) Temporary rezoning has the potential to disrupt the learning environment for all K-12 students attending the Beech and Station Camp schools. Under the proposed Stage 1 plan, some students may change schools as many as 5 times before graduating. The educational and psychological impact of these transitions can affect the overall performance of every student in each of those schools, not just those individuals being transferred. Another concern is the strain these temporary changes will place on the affected neighborhoods. Many families in these areas are active participants in their current schools. Stage 1 changes can affect more than just test scores. Athletics, fundraising, and overall community support may falter under these conditions. Additionally, these areas may be negatively affected by the unnecessary increase in traffic. Support Growth (Stage 2) The proposed development of a new school is something we embrace! We understand the need for growth and do not wish to impede progress. By supporting the new school, we are helping to control the overall expansion and lead our communities in a positive direction. We believe accelerating this existing plan is a critical component for the permanent solution to the county wide overpopulation issue. Summary and Execution We agree with the need for immediate action to control the overcrowding of Sumner County schools. However, we disagree with proposed reaction outlined in the Stage 1 plan. We aim to discover Board's motivation to design the proposed map. We will then review the factors the Board utilized when determining this course of action. We plan to attend each School Board meeting in which the public is allowed, to show our support for keeping our community whole. In each instance we are permitted by law, we will address the Board with our concerns and possible solutions. We will be hosting community meetings to discuss the information obtained, and work towards our common goal of preserving the educational integrity of our community. We will be presenting a formal proposal to the Board containing our recommendations. This petition shall serve as one of many evidences that our community is concerned for the education of our children and the preservation of quality of life for all citizens in the affected area. By affixing your signature, you are presenting proof to the Sumner County School Board and other local government officials that you are part of a better solution.

Kevin Stewart
658 supporters