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Why Park City School District trust is so important

There is an interesting debate going on in our comments about the public’s ability to direct the school district in its needs for expansion.

Some say that the public will always find fault with something in every plan. Therefore, that’s why we elect a school board to make decisions. If you don’t like the board’s decisions, then vote new people in.

Other people say that public is crucial to the process to ensure that a proper outcome occurs.

We think this highlights the need for trust in the process.

Take for example adding a 5/6 school at Ecker Hill (that has been proposed by the district). You may not like the traffic impacts. You may not like the added transitions between schools (which has proven to hurt education). You may not like 5th graders at the same school at 8th graders.

However, if you trust the school district and their process, you’ll probably come to the conclusion that while there are a number of issues, putting a 5/6 school at Ecker is probably the best out of a number of imperfect choices.

However, if you don’t trust them, you nitpick the issues and conclude that they don’t have a clue.

Without trust in the district, that nitpicking will likely make any bond effort the district puts forward hard to pass.

We think the school board and district are making strides toward gaining trust. Whether they can move the needle enough in the next year or two will likely determine the course of the district for the next decade.

 

Comments

7 Comments

Walt

They’re both needed. But if you watched the last round, you have to realize that the public isn’t going to trust elected officials anymore – it’s a new paradigm. The public wants (or at least some of them do) to micromanage every decision – and if some of them don’t like the decision, they’ll say things like “there wasn’t enough public input” or “not all options were considered”, etc, etc, etc. That probably means you can’t make hard decisions or tradeoffs or choose the best of a bunch of mediocre options anymore, at least not easily.

I have spoken to people who claimed there wasn’t enough public input on the last bond, and who also will say (with a straight face) that they were too busy to attend any of the meetings or public input sessions.

It’s broken.

-W

Mom

Huh? There was a tremendous amount of work on the last bond. There were public input meetings, city planners, architects, time and money. It shouldn’t be started from scratch because of the egos of a few board members. That’s what it seems like from where I stand. The bond should be on the ballet in November. It’s shameful that we have temp classrooms at treasure. The board has NOT earned my trust by spending more money to hire a firm to vet the popularity of the bond and then cowardly taking it off the ballet when it looked daunting instead of getting out there and DOING THEIr JOB. THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN WORKING ALL SUMMER. It’s lame. Get ready for a huge tax increase. And then we will end up doing almost exactly what was presented last time. Frustrated….park Rag please do some research on the last bond. Forget the field house (until your kids are older and they need fields for their sports 😬 which will happen) But please look at the rest. I don’t know why I even care about this as I am taking my last to college next week but right is right and history is important and I care about my town and education.

Walt

I personally think they should just raise taxes unilaterally and take the decision about funding out of the hands of the voters. Then we can argue until we’re blue in the face about exactly what everyone wants, but at least the money will be in place to do it.

Mom

I agree Walt. The project will cost more and more money the longer we wait. But the board has not made it a priority to get out there and support the bond. The last BOE actually did but it was hijacked by A NIMBY Crowd who didn’t want a field house in their north 40 neighborhood. Granted they should’ve moved away from the field house. Although people will want athletic facilities for there kids. I’d like to see wHere the two mayoral candidates stand on the issue. As of now I think the only political official that has had the guts to speak up for the bond is TIM Henney. This question should be asked in the next debate. I personally don’t see the board doing anything to gain trust except taking summer vacation. It’s a bummer

WLKMJ

Walt, I don’t know who your friends are, but many people are aware of the false narrative that “we are over crowded”. The threats and muddy explanations are a big part of why the first bond, at $60 million, was shot down. Trying to pass a $100 million bond a year later was ludicrous. Especially when trust in the district was at an all time low. Why are there portables? Is it bad management of space? What are the teacher to student ratios? Does there need to a shift in electives? Has anyone remembered that we are only a 3A school? I’m glad the new board members have listened to the public and are working towards trust with the community. The board is responsible to EVERY Tax Payer, including those without children. As our community continues to grow outward, careful consideration should be taken by the school board and our community leaders. Thank you for being careful with our money.

Anonymous

We are not a 3A school. We are now 4A. And the sophomore class that just moved up to the HS has 75 more students than the grade that just graduated. So yes, it’s crowded at the HS.

Walt

Anecdotally, JRES has ~15% more kindergardeners than they’ve ever had (81).

I think you’d have to be nuts not to look at all the construction happening and not believe we have more students in the pipeline.


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