As most people know, my children attend Ken-Ton Schools through open-enrollment via an employment contract while I do not live within the district limits. The Ken-Ton School Board is not required by law to allow my public comments at school board meetings as I am not a resident. However, at the board meeting last night, it was made clear by board President Bob Dana that the board truly wants to hear concerns from parents, and so they allow my comments. This is an honorable step in the right direction toward making progress together.
I appreciate this very much. As you know, I am the first person to call-out false information, and I am also the first person to give thanks for acts of good faith. After nearly 3 years of statewide advocacy, I have helped many school boards and Superintendents across the state to take actions that have immediately helped children in classrooms despite the harmful state education reforms that are threatening our classrooms. It gives me great satisfaction to bring my expertise to my own children’s school district, and I’m thankful that the Ken-Ton board has publicly stated that they are open to considering my expertise.
Last night, I presented ’25 Actions Ken-Ton School Board Can Take Without Violating State Mandates’. As the board has acknowledged their willingness to hear my public comments, I would like to propose that the Board select 3 or 4 items from my list of 25 actions and begin to implement them as other school boards are doing. As a first project, it would give the community great confidence if the board would consider drafting a letter to parents, similar to the letter that Fairport Central School District recently released to parents, acknowledging the right of parents to refuse NYS tests for their children and acknowledging the fact that the school district will not be negatively affected in terms of state aid when students opt-out. I am happy to sit down with any member of the Ken-Ton School Board and call the NYS Education Department together to verify all of the written guidance that NYSED has provided. I have spent many hours on the phone with NYSED acquiring this information, and I’m happy to share this official information.
Here is a copy of the letter from Fairport Central School District. I ask that the board please use this as a guide in the development of their own communications with the public.
Thank you for your willingness to include expert parental input in your decisions that affect the individual lives of our young children.