Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A page from the District's playbook.

April 15, 2008

Dear Colleagues:

As you may be aware, the district is working through the most recent round of under-funded legislative actions and developing a plan to address the reductions necessary for next year’s operational budget.

Playbook: Remind people that they already know the bad news. Assign full responsibility for the bad news to someone else. Tell them that the remedy is coming and that it involves deliberation - even if your solution doesn't.

We value all positions, programs, and services for students; thus, it is a most difficult process to try and determine what areas to reduce and to what extent.

Playbook: Tell people what you think they want to hear. Tell them that you share a similar set of priorities. Don't let people know it brings you pleasure to slash programs and positions to accommodate your vision.

We hope to have a more refined plan ready to share with everyone on or about April 23rd.

Playbook: Once you have devised a way to preserve your vision and establish a legacy at taxpayer expense, acquire enough wool to bury it from public view. When you have worked all of the bugs out, parade your pile of wool through a public process where people can comment about the color and texture of said wool.

We will send that out via e-mail. Even that plan will not be final and it will get more review.

Playbook: In case someone happens to see under a small piece of the wool and catches a glimpse of what you are doing to their school district, reassure staff and the community that everything is a "work in progress" and that it can only be perfected by incorporating community suggestions.

Then in May, the concepts will be presented and discussed in more depth at some open public meetings similar to last year’s process, with a sincere opportunity for input.

Playbook: Hint at something like an education summit. Try to make the community believe that you are seeking consensus. Don't let them catch on that you are just seeking warm, but unengaged bodies in the room. Remember that you need to have lots of bodies to point at when challenged about the way things fell apart.

Any interested persons in our schools or community are very welcome to attend those meetings; we will be sharing the dates once they are established.

Playbook: Suggest that anyone can show up. Remember, if you get enough people in the room the conflict will become their battle and you can step outside for a cigarette. District loyalists that believe every word you utter will show up in droves. The trick is to get enough "outsiders" in the room so they can become the target of budget strife.

These meetings will likely happen later in May when we have more information.

Playbook: The State Auditor's report should be out by May and we are fairly confident that, given what the State has done to our operating budget, they wouldn't have the audacity to point out our own financial blunders and waste.

Thank you again for your caring and competent service.

Playbook: Establish a reason for loyalists to attend your education summit. Flatter them into taking up arms to defend the monarch.

Your patience and understanding as we work collaboratively through this process are greatly appreciated.

Playbook: Use the word "collaborative" and "process" while expressing gratitude. This will give your readers the impression that you are not plundering public funds on your own. Process suggests a beginning, middle and end and, most importantly, that it evolved from something less organized into something that is preferred by every solvent organization in the region.



Anonymous said...

I was looking at my calendar today and April 23rd is Administrative Professional's Day. I googled that and it means that April 23rd is Secretary's Day. I don't know what that means, but I thought it was interesting.

Anonymous said...

I still like that picture of ms miller on this blog!

I think that picture keeps aging with time.

Like a cheap wine in a box.

"like maddog 20/20"
oldy but goody.

Anonymous said...

How come Wayne in Tech Dept is paying intern's $17.00 bucks an HR and they're laying off a guy with lower pay?
Go figure this one out.
Is it some kind of special math?

Anonymous said...

Secretary's Day is always in April; it used to be a day when School Secretary's were treated to a special lunch or a plant from staff, cards, pictures, songs, from students. In the "olden days", Principals took Secretary's out to lunch to let them know they were appreciated. The last Principal I worked for didn't bother to acknowledge the day, however, the teachers & students made the day special!

Anonymous said...

It's probably part of the new math curriculum that the high school will be adopting.

Anonymous said...

it used to be a special day for secretaries but in our department it is not just secretaries day but also prof. tech. day, etc. I guess we don't want the secretaries to think they are tooooo special.

Anonymous said...

Wayne needs to go, and too damn bad. said...

The District gave away $300,000.00 in Capital Partnership project funding. While it was money to be spent on Capital-funded projects, it could have funded Jan Beglau in her current position for nearly three years.

Those dollars were meant to construct playgrounds for our children. The act of stealing that sum - and lying to voters to get it - is the deepest cut of all.

Those $300,000.00 will be lost in the flood of Tech Levy dollars. Our schools will have crappy playgrounds but with all the bandwidth, porn will be quicker to download.