Welcome Back to School and Budget Priorities

I hope everyone had a great break and that students are ready to get back to work. The new 2012 year has re-invigorated me to attack the issues that we face as a district and to celebrate our great successes that we have everyday in Richland School District Two.  Administration asked for all board members to outline 5 2012-2013 budget priorities, I did not feel that I could address all of my priorities within 5 items, so my list came to 10. I am posting these priorities in order to demonstrate my willingness to provide transparent governance and to show you where my priorities lie for Richland School District Two.

  1. Implement a Career and Technology Education facility and expand CATE program offerings.  Create partnerships with technical schools and other higher education institutions of all types to create career paths for students. 
  1. Provide Early Childhood Education opportunities, including alignment of district goals with preschools and find innovative ways to bring quality early childhood education to students from birth to kindergarten. 
  1. Provide teacher training programs to improve the use of technology to create more engaging learning opportunities for students. We must ensure that teachers have every opportunity to learn how to use the technology we have provide to create high quality learning environments. 
  1. Continue to support magnets and school choice for our students across the district. 
  1. Fund National Board certified teachers. I would like to see the teachers who are national board certified be placed in classrooms where they will have the biggest impact on student achievement. I also believe that teachers who are not teaching in the area that they were nationally board certified should not receive the stipend.  I am also interested in reducing the stipend for newly certified teachers, not to include the teachers who were most recently certified. 
  1. Maintain the district reserve fund between 10-12% percent. 
  1. Continue to fund Resource Officers and other safety programs to maintain safe schools. 
  1. Provide adequate resources to guidance counselors in elementary and middle schools to give students the necessary life management tools to be successful students and citizens. 
  1. I would like to keep classroom sizes small. 
  1. Re-establish our foreign language programs at the elementary school level for all students.
Welcome back!
James Manning
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