As you know by now the board has released a revised plan that incorporates aspects of all three of the original proposed plans and a few other changes. As a board, we have all worked countless hours to try to find a plan that will work for all students. Please note this plan is going to be voted on as part of our next board meeting on November 15th.
The plan is not final as it stands at this time. The only final plan is the one that the board will vote into existence at the board meeting on the 15th. Several board members, including myself, are still working to “tweak” the plan to make sure that it is the most equitable plan possible. These “tweaks” can be expressed in the form of amendments during the voting process. I personally believe that we can improve on the current plan with some of the possible amendments that are being proposed by me and others. With this being said, I understand that there is no perfect plan and that we will face challenges with any plan that requires a change of this magnitude within the district.
I have been hearing a lot of rumors and speculation as it relates to Spring Valley and Richland Northeast. Below are a few of the more prominent rumors that I have been hearing. I would like to address them one by one. In case you choose not to read the remainder of my blog, I hope that you will take the passion that has been expressed by each and every one of you and get involved in whatever school your students are zoned for. Join your schools foundation, volunteer, and look to see how you personally can make a difference in your child’s current or future school.
Rumor: The board has had “back room” dealings
Fact: There have been no “back room” deals that I have been part of and I trust my fellow board members when they tell me the same. I believe that there have been some misleading communications that have led to this erroneous conclusion.
Rumor: James Manning is moving from a RNE zoned community to the Spring Valley Neighborhood
Fact: I am a dedicated member of my community where I was a founding member of my neighborhood association and have served as the president of that association since its inception two years ago. I also serve as the president of the Decker Boulevard Business Coalition where I have worked tirelessly to support Decker Boulevard and the surrounding communities for the last year. I could not be more dedicated to my community and it is, quite frankly, insulting for anyone to insinuate anything other than that. I do not have any plans to move.
Rumor: James Manning lied to us. (Referring to the community meeting that was held at the Rockbridge Club)
Fact: I have been nothing but supportive of all of our schools in this process. I have fought for all of our schools to have the best environment and the best resources to succeed. As a board, we are faced with variables that lead to some very difficult decisions. Some of the decisions that are being made may be seen as deceitful in nature, when in fact they are nothing more than difficult decisions that we must make.
In particular, I have been accused of being unsupportive of Richland Northeast High School. I can tell you that nothing could be further from the truth. I have been a stalwart advocate for RNE and for the students that attend this school. I was visiting Richland Northeast as late as this afternoon looking for ways to continue to provide RNE with the necessary resources to provide the world-class education that has been, and will always be, provided there for many years to come.
Rumor: The board does not support Richland Northeast and will continue to give other schools resources that RNE does not receive
Fact: The board is fully committed to providing RNE with the resources that it needs to be successful, just as it has with all of the schools in Richland Two. All of my colleagues are fully committed to giving RNE the resources that it needs to be successful.
Rumor: The board is not working to draw “the right” students to Richland Northeast High School
Fact: All students are “the right” students in all Richland Two schools. Students do not have a way to control their home situations. We must all be there to help students that do have the financial or emotional support due to difficult home situations. I am dedicated to each and every one of our students, regardless of where they come from or what their home situations are!
I implore each and every one of you to understand that I am continuing to review the plan and that nothing is final until the vote is taken on the 15th. I hope that you will trust that I am working for Richland Northeast with the same vigor that I am working for the other schools in Richland Two.
Please note that I will speak clearly with my vote on November 15th. However, once there is a finalized zoning map, I will unequivocally support whatever plan is in place.