Advanced Copy of January 2015 Northview News Superintendent Letter – EDE #36 for 2014/15

Good Evening,

As you have come to expect, here is the advanced copy of my Superintendent Letter for the January 2015 Northview News.  Please feel free to share this email with those in your circles of influence.
My wish for you and yours is that this Holiday Season will be safe and joyful.  I wish you and our community peace.

Sincerely and With Great Respect,

Mike Paskewicz, Superintendent

Northview Public Schools

Northview News January 2015

Dear Families, Community Members, Staff, and Students,

We believe that people working together toward common goals can accomplish anything.  There is a strong emotional and spiritual connection between our schools, our families, our community members, and our students.  Our core values and commitment to high expectations for each person are two drivers of our success.

Over the holiday break we will be completing “punch-list” items to finish the three-year construction project that allowed for major renovations at Northview High School including a new pool, the addition of four early childhood classrooms at West Oakview, as well as safety/security and technology improvements district-wide.

The cooperation between Barnes-Wolgast Construction, Tower Pinkster Architects, Barton Malow Technology, Northview staff, students, their families, and our community members is the reason the entire bond project was delivered ahead of schedule and slightly under projected budget. This model is an operational definition of what people working together toward common goals can accomplish anything means.

Our community members, parents/guardians, and staff have taken responsibility for the upbringing of the children in the Northview community.  We feel strongly that part of the responsibility is to help children develop the skills to be caring, respectful, and involved citizens who are ethical and behave with integrity.  We care deeply about this responsibility.

Very shortly, the Michigan Legislature will return to Lansing.  They will begin discussions regarding the State budget in late January.  They will be pulled in many directions by many different constituency groups.  I encourage you to contact your Representatives and Senator and respectfully demand a “real increase” to the operational revenue allocated to school districts.

Ask them if they know what citizens in Northview care deeply about.

We have provided our elected officials with over 500 pieces of “everyday evidence” that the public schools in Northview are working.  We have qualitative and quantitative proof that we are accelerating student academic performance and nurturing their social development.  We have proof that we care deeply about the upbringing of the children of this community.

We have a strong local partnership.  Now is the time to ask our elected officials to join our local partnership. Now is the time to ask them how their actions are helping Northview students prepare for life’s next step.

You may find the contact information for our elected officials at:

www.nvps.net

www.house.mi.gov (Find a Representative)

www.senate.mi.gov (Find a Senator)

www.mi.gov/snyder (Contact the Governor)

Your voice is important.

Sincerely and With Great Respect,

Mike Paskewicz, Superintendent

Northview Public Schools

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Meanwhile Back at the Ranch…… Thursdays With North (and East Oakview) Part #2

Meanwhile Back at the Ranch……

Friday, December 19, 2014
Arrival Time:  8:30 a.m.

It took me until Friday to arrive at East Oakview (Meanwhile Back at the Ranch….).  Today is the last day before the Holiday Vacation.  Some people might think the excitement of the kids (and staff) would cause the learning process to be placed on the back shelf – next to Sparkle the Elf on the Shelf.  This was not the case this morning.

As I walked down the hall toward a kindergarten classroom, I had to step around members of the Northview High School boys basketball team who were working with kids on the floor.  The high school student/athletes are members of a leadership class that provide regular support to students at East Oakview (and other elementary schools).  They are “big kid heroes” to our elementary students.  The are also learning and teaching what it means to give back to your community.

My first stop was in a kindergarten room.  I pulled up a chair next to one of the two boys who was still finishing his breakfast.  Much like any other day, the rest of the class met on the rug for the opening activities.  The breakfast looked like he had poured chocolate milk on his cereal.  The mixture sat next to an open container of strawberry yogurt.  I had a hunch that the yogurt might end up in the cereal mix.  Alas, I was disappointed as “Combo #2” never happened.  I must admit that I did laugh a little bit after he dumped his trash in the right container and then returned to the table to mop up a little bit of spilled milk …. with his shirt sleeve.  He then joined the group on the rug.  I thought about the phrase “don’t cry over spilled milk” and added “just wipe it up with your shirt sleeve and see if it makes the Superintendent laugh.”

My visit to a second grade classroom began with the sweetest words an educator can hear on any given day – “will you read with me?”  In my 40 years in public education I have never turned down a child who wanted to read to me.  When I looked up after the first book, every student, as well as the classroom teacher, was engaged in the joy of reading.  Having a passion for reading is a wonderful gift for a child and for an adult.

The rendition of “It must be Santa” rang out in another classroom.  The elevated energy of each verse revealed the excitement of the approaching holiday.  Their teacher was already dressed in her costume for the play the East staff presents to the students each year.  At least I hope it was a costume and that she hadn’t forgotten to take off her pajamas before leaving for work.

The Christmas play is an annual event at East Oakview.  Staff members share their singing, dancing, and instrumental talents with the students.  There are plenty of holiday jokes that make kids groan and laugh.  Skits were performed and rewarded with applause. The grand entrance of Santa is always much anticipated with the reading of the Night Before Christmas.

Each year the staff at East Oakview (and our other schools), with donations from community members, help families who are in need.  This year 15 families from East received help.  One family also received help from a local car dealership to reduce the cost of repairs to her car.  The reduced cost plus the financial help from the East Oakview fund gave a gift that helped a mom get to work.  The assistance may be something as small as providing a belt to hold up a first grade student’s pants or providing food to a family that would go without had we not intervened.

This is not an exception to the rule in our schools and community.  It is the rule!

Ordinary people (except for that musical talent and the willingness to dress like a Sugar Plum Fairy) with extraordinary passion for our students and their families is found throughout the Northview community.

There is always “more important stuff” to get done.  Today, the East Oakview staff, students, families, and community members did extraordinary things that cause us to say We Are Northview.

Just for the record, Santa visited my office late yesterday afternoon.  He was on his way to the West Oakview Preschool Holiday program.  He read off all the names on the nice list.  Mine was not present.  However, it was the only name on the naughty list.

Sincerely and With Great Respect,

Mike Paskewicz, Superintendent
Northview Public Schools

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Thursdays With North (and East Oakview) – More Important Stuff – EDE #36 for 2014/14

Thursdays With North (and East Oakview) “More Important Stuff”
December 17, 2014
Arrival time:  7:30 a.m.

As all of you know, Travis has served as my Life Coach for the past 1.5 years.  He always seems to have the right word of encouragement, advice, humor at just the right time.  He always helps me keep my focus on the important stuff.  Not bad for a kid half way through first grade.

He jumped out of his mom’s van this morning, back back hung over one arm, coat unzipped, and carrying two brightly wrapped presents.  I must admit, I hoped one of them was for me.  I was not disappointed.  “This one is for you Dr. P.  I can’t tell you what it is but you should know we bought it on Mackinac Island, its and ornament, and it is fragile so don’t drop the bag.”  I smiled and told him I would open the present when I got inside.

He also told me about the present he had for his teacher.  He said he would tell me what he got her if I promised that I would not tell her.  I promised.  He told me about the present with a hint of being the good elf this morning.

Many of the kids were carrying  a gift for a teacher, a support staff member, the secretary, or the principal.  Some were carting a bag of goodies for the afternoon classroom holiday parties.  Several kids informed me that today was their birthday and “next week it is Christmas.”  Our students were taking care of their “important stuff.”

I did get a few comments about the hat I was wearing today but no reprimands about it not being hat day.  The hat was made by my daughter Jade for use in the East Oakview play scheduled for Friday.  I am playing “Pappa” in the reading of The Night Before Christmas put on by the staff at East Oakview.  One student asked me why I was wearing a sock on my head while another informed me his mom liked my hat.  Not bad, I went 50/50.

Since my last post, the staff at North met together to develop a set of strategies to help one student find success in her classroom. As the second meeting concluded her mom remarked that “no one else had done this for her daughter.”  Our staff and the student’s family took care of the “important stuff.”

I really enjoyed the 4th grade class who sang the snow day song for me today.  Seeing one of our special needs students fully mainstreamed with his peers.  His voice was blended with the others.

I hope by now you are wondering what was the fragile gift given to me from Travis.

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Inscribed on the bottom of the fragile ornament is “Merry Christmas! From Travis Jr. 2014.”  It will find an important place on our Christmas tree tonight.
There was not one student in the drop-off line that mentioned that our Legislators were working on a set of solutions to solve road and public education funding issues.  However they may benefit from the “important stuff” our elected officials agreed upon today.  I encourage you to take some time to learn about how we might come together with our elected officials as citizens of Michigan to fix our roads and adequately fund our public schools.  More about this after the Holidays.

I wish you and your family a very safe and restful Holiday break filled with Joy and Peace!

Sincerely and With Great Respect,

Mike Paskewicz, Superintendent
Northview Public Schools

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World Wide Wednesday With West Oakview (EDE #35 for 2014/15)

World Wide Wednesdays With West Oakview
Arrival Time: 7:50 a.m.

“The Important Stuff”
I was a little late for duty today. Even so it was still dark when I followed the KISD school bus down Coit Ave.  The bus was transporting some of our special needs kids to the Deaf/Hard of Hearing Program.

As the bus approached a busy feeder road a pick-up truck pulled out without stopping.  The bus driver anticipated the move and slowed the bus to avoid an accident.  I spoke with the driver when we arrived at West.  She told me she has seen that move a hundred times over the past few years.  People don’t like being behind a bus.  She always looks way out ahead to see if there will be problems.  Great work!

I find it interesting that the kids on the bus never knew what could have happened. Our kids really expect us, the adults, to take care of things so they can get the “important stuff” done when they get to school.

West was down a substitute teacher for second grade today.  This week I just jumped in without a reminder and volunteered to get the class started. Once again, I had to admint that I don’t know how to take the attendance electronically.  Not to worry, the kids always know who is absent and are willing to tell you.  They even know that the kid in the other room owned the stray backpack.

As I knelt next to each table of second grade students to let them know why I was in the room, an array of interesting conversations broke out.  I stated to one group “Your teacher doesn’t feel well today and I am covering for her until 9:00 a.m.”  The first boy immediately said “Hey, you’ve got hearing aids just like me.”  I asked him how long he had been wearing them and he responded his whole life before 2nd grade.  I told him I have had my hearing aids for four years.  He informed me that I would probably need to wear them for the rest of my life – just like him.  I said “but I’m a lot older than a second grader.”  His response was very honest “Yeah, a whole lot older.”  I moved on to the next group.

“Your teacher is sick today” I said to the group.  The response from the three kids the table was one of concern for their teacher and hopes she feels better because “it is almost Christmas and no one should be sick over Christmas break.”  The talk then jumped to times when the kids had been sick.  One girl showed me the blood blister under her fingernail.  A second girl told me she bumped her twin sister with her head and gave her a black eye.  One boy said he had to stay home because he had a bad headache.  When I told him I had a bad headache when I was is age and it was caused by my little sister.  He didn’t think that was very funny.

However, when we reached the time to correct the “morning math work” I did find a way to get the entire class laughing.  The class gave me tips on the way students are called on to answer and explain their work.  I was to draw sticks out of a jar.  The sticks have numbers on them and each child knows their number.  I read the numbers off the first two sticks and the first two kids answered the questions.  Time for a little fun I thought.  When I called the next number I called out “number 356.”  The chorus of voices was very sweet, “We don’t have that many kids.”  I told the class I just read the number wrong the number was six.  The girl attached to the number gave the correct answer to the math problem.

Next stick – “number 127,419.”  Same chorus with an added phrase “We don’t have that many kids, you read the number wrong again.”  “Right, its number 9.”   Next stick – “number 4,325,663.”  Chorus – “your read the number wrong again, it must be #3.”  Laughter fell from all of our mouths.  Last problem, last stick drawn – “number 4 bazillion, 329 trillion, 677 million, 545 thousand, 215.”  Chorus and laughter – “you mean number 15.” Great work on the “important stuff” kids.

To all of the adults who found a way to get their kids to school today despite any adult problems in your world – thank you.  Great work!  To all of the West Oakview staff, you took care of the adult issues and made sure our kids could focus on the “important stuff” today – thank you.  Great work!

To all those second grade kids – thanks for the beautiful music today.  Your chorus and laughter helped me remember why I chose this wonderful profession of being part of the upbringing of the children of our community.  It is the “important stuff.” Thank you.  Great Work!

“Next number……..”

Sincerely and With Great Respect,

Mike Paskewicz, Superintendent
Northview Public Schools

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Announcement From Mike Paskewicz

Good Afternoon,

I know that email is not the most personal method of communicating with you.  However, it is not possible for me to meet with each staff and still inform everyone at the same time about my retirement plans.

The purpose of this email is to officially inform you of my intent to retire.  My last day of employment with the Northview Public Schools will be June 30, 2015.  According to my contract with our Board of Education, under Section 10 – G, Unilateral Termination by the Superintendent, I am required to inform them in writing six months prior to my intended retirement.  I shared my decision with our Board members last week.

My decision to retire was not made in haste nor was it related anything negative in nature.  My decision to retire was made after very careful consideration and with great anticipation of what the next ten years of life will present to me, Ruth, and our family.  Simply stated, it is the right time for me to retire.

I believe the Northview Public School District is in excellent condition thanks to the leadership exhibited by our Board of Education over the past 5½ years.  They have been very clear on the “ends” they want accomplished.  They have been clear on what behaviors and circumstances must be avoided as we do our work inside the school system to accelerate student academic performance and nurture their social development.

Our Northview staff members, families, and a supportive community continuously seek to improve the quality of the learning environment for the students of our community.  The Northview Education Foundation continues to raise “friends and funds” that support our teachers and students.  As a result our academic performance continues an upward trend regardless of the changes in our demographics and reductions of State funding.  Our students give back to their community.  They demonstrate what it means to be a productive, caring, and respectful citizen. They exhibit ethical behaviors and act with integrity.

All of our schools are accredited by AdvancED, the global leader in the accreditation of public schools.  We were the first in Michigan and the 13th nationally to be accredited under the new and more rigorous standards.

Our employee associations have made considerable concessions over the past few years and as a result we have stabilized the financial condition of the school district.  We have labor peace in Northview due to the mutual respect between all parties.  We argue about the right things.

Our community approved a total of $43 million in two bond proposals during the worst economic times in Michigan since the depression.  The approval of the bonds moved the district to seven (7) mills of debt, which allows future Boards to ask the community to extend the bonds at a “no tax rate increase.”  This allows for the continuation of the ten-year plan to improve and/or replace the district buildings and sites.  Our facilities no longer drain the operational budget intended for classrooms, programs, and co-curricular activities.

Voters also renewed the Building and Site Millage for ten years and then approved the renewal of the Non-Homestead Millage for 12 years. As a result there will not be a need to ask the community for a renewal for at least ten years.  According to our auditors, our financial status is in a very positive position.

Our Board of Education will begin the Superintendent search process in early January 2015.  I am confident they will include staff, families, community members and students in the process.

As I complete my 40th year in public education, I wish to thank the Board of Education, the staff, our students, our families, and our community members for allowing me to be part of the upbringing of the children of this community.  I am a better educator and more importantly a better person because of all of you.  We Are Northview!

Sincerely and With Great Respect,

Mike

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Thursdays With North (and East) Oakview

Thursday, December 11, 2014
Written on Monday, December 15, 2015

Time got away from me last week and my usual Thursday post was delayed until this morning.  Maybe it is the hectic schedule right now or that I chose to use my time differently last Thursday.  In reality, it is because I didn’t manage my time well last week.

Now that the disclosure is over let me begin with the “drop-off” line wisdom from my Life Coach Travis.  I found out Travis took second place at his youth wrestling match the previous weekend.  He informed me that the medals for 1st through 4th are all different but “the only thing you get for 5th place is a lot of people clapping.”  He asked if I ever received any medals for wrestling.  I told him no but I did get a bloody nose once during gym class in high school when I wrestled the State Champion.  Nobody clapped that day.

Travis made me think deeply today.  How many great things happen on a daily basis that are not recognized by awarding medals or even clapping.  Here are a few “award winning” things that happened at North:

  • A first grade teacher arranged for one of her students to get two sets of eye glasses – one for home and one for school. She found a way to help the family afford the cost.  The smile on the student’s face as she showed me her new glasses is better than any medal.
  • A third grade teacher who cares deeply about all of her students and is finding a way to help a student who is currently having a hard time with behaviors.  I read an article over the weekend that must have been written about this teacher – “An Open Letter – Dear Parent: I am the teacher of that kid you are so worried about.”
  • This scenario has been played out in every one of our classrooms throughout North and the Northview School District at one time or another over the years.  Each time the support provided by our staff is incredible.  The support is present for the student and for the staff member who is trying to find a solution to help the student.
  • A para-professional hit his head on a cabinet door causing a cut in his scalp.  As he walked down the hall he asked me to move down to his room to help with coverage.  This was before I could even ask if he was okay.  He wanted to make sure we took care of the students in the room first and that someone was available to cover his recess duty.  He ended up at the doctor.
  • Within minutes, one of our maintenance employees arrived at North to take care of the blood that hit the floor after the accident.
  • Every person at North (and our other schools) understand the amount of Holiday stress and excitement – some negative and some positive – that is present in our kids and their families.  They are the picture of stability and calmness.

Travis also let me know that the frost on the grass and the playground equipment would be a lot of fun at recess.  I was the person who was designated to cover the playground duty for the paraprofessional who hit his head.  The morning recess couldn’t come soon enough for me.

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Frost on playground equipment creates a slippery surface that is enjoyed by kindergarten and first grade kids in ways that would create aches and pains on my 64-year old body.  The bridge on one structure was exceptionally slippery which caused much laughter by over 12 kids who were slip-sliding away (yes the Simon and Garfunkel song was playing in my head and still is as I write this post).  It was a game created by kids with defined rules and time limits for being on the bridge.

The slides “are faster than ever” shouted one kindergarten boy who immediately launched himself down the slide into two passing kids who were three feet away from the bottom of the slide.  All of them collapsed into a heap while laughing and shouting “go again.”

No accidents or injuries were reported but one lost hat was recovered.

I should have carried medals with me today. Everyone deserved a first place finish recognition.  However, I did do a lot of clapping today……and everyday because our public schools work!

Sincerely and With Great Respect,

Mike Paskewicz, Superintendent

Northview Public Schools

PS:  I didn’t make it to East Oakview today as I covered recess duty.  I will be at East this Friday, December 19, to play a small role in their Staff Holiday Program for Kids.  I play my age and am required to “spring from the bed to see what is the matter.”  I think the role is safer than going down a slide covered with new frost.  Hope I don’t hit a cabinet door.

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World Wide Wednesdays With West Oakview

Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Arrival Time:   7:25 a.m.

“We are down two subs and the principal is on her way to the child study team.  She won’t make your administrative team meeting today because she will be in the second grade classroom until my niece arrives to sub at 11:30 a.m.  Can you cover the second grade room until the principal finishes with child study?”

Just after answering “yes” I unbuttoned my coat and placed it on a chair in the principal’s office.  Things were already rolling at West an the sun was not yet up high enough to turn off the parking lot lights.  The scene is not unusual as all of our schools get right to work way before the first children enter the doors for the day.  The lack of substitute teachers is a county-wide issue and the fill rate is at about 75% on a daily basis.  Yet every one of our schools finds a way to cover classrooms – even by taking a chance that the Superintendent remembers what to do with 26 second grade children who are more than excited this time of the year.

Our Michigan Legislators are considering a Bill that they believe will improve the percentage of students meeting the reading standards by the end of 3rd grade.  The Bill says that interventions must be in place to assist students who are not meeting standards.  I am not certain that our elected officials (other than Representative MacGregor, who spent a day in Northiew, and Representative VerHeulen who spent a day in Kenowa) understand what is already going on to help students meet reading standards.

Today, I sat in on the Child Study Team at West.  The meeting started at 7:30 a.m.  Two students are discussed each week.  Today, the team of six professionals talked about a second grade student who was reading at a DRA level 12.  This level is below the expectations for a second grade child.  The team had a portfolio of the student’s work, records going back to kindergarten, had answered 21 questions about the child, identified six sources of information about the child, and had a set of interventions that had been implemented since the beginning of the year.  The child is getting a triple dose of reading interventions provided by the classroom teacher, the reading specialist, and an after school tutor from Aquinas College.  The team knows this child and the details about the events the child has been through when not at school.  They even know the name of the child’s pet.  The team was not pleased with the progress of the child so new strategies were suggested.

Who knows the child better – the six professionals at the Child Study Team table or the elected officials writing legislation?  Does the House of Representatives Bill to improve 3rd grade reading performance have any additional revenue attached so that more interventions could be brought to the child?

I moved on to my duty as drop-off line superintendent, I mean supervisor. The Child Study Team moved on to building strategies to help the second child on the agenda.  It was 7:50 a.m.  As I picked up my coat in the office I think I heard “remember, cover the second grade room.”

Seeing our kids say goodbye to their parents is a simple joy for me.  The fact that the attempt to exit the back seat of a car when dressed in full winter gear while avoiding a seat belt is humorous brings additional joy. Here are a couple of comments I heard today:

“Zip up your coat. Put on your hat. Give me a hug and  kiss. Enjoy your day.  I will see you after school.  Bye-bye honey.  Dad’s not out of the car yet.  Shut the door,  Hey you forgot your gloves. Tell your teacher to call me. Do you have your lunch.  Wait – put the dog back in the car.  Do you have your homework. Where is your other boot. Where is your sister.  When did you change the clothes I laid out for you.  I’m leaving early on Friday because we are going to Illinois. Mom, why do you still have on your pajamas? Be good and learn something today.”

When I entered the building after drop-off line duties, I was met by the office manager.  She was holding the substitute plans folder and a classroom key.  “I wasn’t kidding, you need to cover the 2nd grade classroom until the principal finishes with the Child Study Team.”  I followed the directive and headed to the second grade room.

Do you have any idea how much excitement is generated by the “Elf on the Shelf” being in a different place than when second grade kids left yesterday.  “Look, there he is.  How did he get up there?  I wonder how he got on the ceiling? I want the red lunch.  Where is my math paper? Who are you?  Are you are sub?”  Every child knew their job and by 8:20 a.m. every child in the room was working on a set of math problems.  The Elf remained on the ceiling, the principal arrived, and I moved on to visit a 4th grade classroom.

The 4th grade students were working on cursive writing.  I found out that they believe cursive is a good way of writing regular words.  When I chimed in that I like it because you don’t have to pick up your pencil for each word a boy at the table let me know that I still need to pick up the pencil between words or they won’t make much sense.  It was only 8:30 a.m. as the class moved down the hall to art.

Our West Oakview parents contribute on a daily basis.  Outside of the kindergarten rooms a mom, with toddler in tow, was rolling out clay.  Students would press their hand in the clay and parents would have a new ornament in a few weeks. I think the mom really enjoyed the clay.

I haven’t smelled a new crayon in quite some time.  There is a simple elegance to the delight on a child’s face when new crayons are loaded into the bin on the table.  “Hey Dr. P., smell this crayon.  I love the smell of new crayons.”

So do I.

Try it out for yourself.  I suggest you visit a kindergarten classroom instead of opening the boxes of crayons and smelling them while you are at Meijer!  West has four kindergarten rooms just waiting to let you share in their simple elegance and joy of smelling new crayons.

Sincerely and With Great Respect,

Mike Paskewicz, Superintendent
Northview Public Schools

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When I Read the Michigan House Bill to Fund Roads ……..

Representatives MacGregor, Verheulen, and Senator Jansen,

When I read the road funding plan approved by the House it appears to
be short sighted and lacking a deep review of the implications where
public schools are concerned.

Throughout the previous year there were many bills passed, discussion
held, commitments made, and statements of understanding that our
public schools are relevant and necessary to the citizens of Michigan.
There is serious discussion of a bill that would mandate interventions
for 3rd grade students who have not met the reading standards.  A bill
on the floor that puts new “criteria” for a financial early warning
system could result in a district being placed on the watch list if 1
of 19 criteria is missed.  Previous legislation moved $400 million
from the SAF to community colleges.  That same amount still goes to
community colleges.  Our “net-operational revenue” is at $7,251 – that
is below the 2008/09 level.

As we fast forward to the Lame Duck session of December 2014, the
House passes a bill that moves approximately $880 million of gas tax
revenue away from public schools.  That is approximately $1.6 million
in Northview – remember, we have already reduced our budget by nearly
$3 Million over the past several years.

The promise of the bill is that “new” tax revenue because of improved
roads will not only make up the lost funds but produce more revenue.
This same promise was made when public education (and others) did
their part in helping stabilize the general fund and give business a
tax break that would generate more jobs and more tax revenue for
public schools.  We are still below 2008/09 per pupil allocations.
Our “net-operating revenue” has not improved.

A secondary promise in the bill is that the tax shift would stop if
the schools and municipalities see a decrease in funding due to lost
gas tax revenues.  This sounds fair in concept but seems to ignore the
fact that halting a tax shift after the loss means schools and
municipalities will be held at the new rate as there won’t be any
revenue to make up the lost revenue.

It appears that:

*  more demands are being placed on schools to perform academically –
3rd grade reading  bill with no revenue to implement interventions.
*  a financial early warning system is being implemented that puts
more schools on a watch list that requires more reporting mandates.
*  a promise that new revenue will come from new roads yet the
promises from the past three years have resulted in less
“net-operating revenue” for our schools.
* a promise is made to halt the tax shift if schools see a loss of
revenue but there is no method to replace the lost revenue – just stop
the shift.

Help me understand why the roads package is built upon taking revenue
from public schools and municipalities.

Help me understand why the courage to shift tax revenue to improve
roads is present yet the courage to shift tax revenue to public
education to make up for lost “net-operational revenue” is not
present.

Help me understand how we will keep our public schools relevant and a
viable part of our communities if there appears to be a constant push
to turn our schools into a business that just supplies a service – you
can buy your tires at any service center for about the same price but
your choice of service center does nothing to help produce the
citizens who improve the quality of life in Michigan.

I am now in a position to try and explain to our staff and community
why these bills help public education.  I am in a position to explain
to our staff and community why this is not an attempt to further
defund our schools in Northview.

I am upset that it appears the implications have not been fully
explored.  I am saddened that public education is being used to once
again fix another State issue.  I am angry that it appears public
education is being defunded and rendered to a “service” rather than a
“relevant” component of building strong citizens for the future of
this State,

Sincerely,

Mike Paskewicz, Superintendent
Northview Public Schools

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