The first reports on the progress of the Local Control Funding Formula for K-12 in California, and they’re pretty good. Overall, it appears the school districts are using the LCFF as a tool to refine and clarify the delivery of instructional and other services to the appropriate student populations. Evidence suggests that the use is going far beyond mere demonstration of compliance. But the cautionary note is loud and appropriate – we must invest in the student learning experience, but the investment must be in strategies that work. As the report says, its not enough to invest in programs designed to increase student success if we don’t make sure they actual do increase student success.
…and let’s remember that the holiday is for more than BBQ. Honoring the labor movement in America, Labor Day is a time to remember that most important workers’ rights today originally came from the struggle of the labor movement.
I’m very honored and pleased that the Ojai Valley Democratic Club decided Monday night that I will be one of the candidates they endorse for the Ojai Unified School District Board. After the six candidates answered questions ranging from the role of the Board member to support for the upcoming bond measure, the audience chose their endorsements by ballot. The forum was interesting and my fellow candidates all responded to the questions with intelligence and insight.
Over the next few days, I’ll be posting the questions we were asked, and summaries of my positions in response.
Again, my thanks to the Ojai Valley Democratic Club for their confidence.
I’ll be there hoping to earn their endorsement for Ojai Unified School District Board. I’ll keep you posted.
… to discuss the Ojai Skate Park. The conversation devolved into complaints about kids not wearing helmets, and putting a cage around the park to keep out bikes, to the cost of paying park supervisors. This despite a staff presentation containing data suggesting that problems are improving with simple community outreach and communication. It seemed like everyone was looking for an excuse to cast the skate park in a negative light.
I was there to announce my candidacy for Ojai Unified school board, but ended up going off script. Click on the link below to see the video:
…publicly announcing my candidacy for the Board for the first time. Went pretty well. Here’s the notes from my speech:
Good evening board members, my name is Mike Shanahan. I’m a homeowner in Ojai, and currently Vice Chancellor of human resources at the Ventura County Community College District. Previously I spent 10 years in the Los Angeles Community College District, and I have almost thirty years in HR altogether. I’ve represented employees as a union attorney and I’ve sat across the bargaining table from them.
I am also a candidate for the OUSD Board.
As you well know, the future holds tremendous challenges for the District, and tremendous opportunities. In this election cycle, when three seats are up for election, and only one incumbent running, a significant change in the Board is inevitable. Change can be disruptive or it can be productive and exciting.
I choose “productive and exciting.” The Ojai Valley is filled with creative, intelligent, caring people and lots of concerned parents. If I am elected, I will require that all major decisions have community input, and I will personally remain available to community dialog. I know from experience that when all stakeholders to the Ojai Unified School District contribute their best ideas, with the Board serving as the catalyst for intelligent conversation, this District will thrive. And we need to keep three questions in the front of our minds with every decision:
First, “Will it enhance student success?”
We don’t just deliver education. That’s going through the motions. Our mission and our goal is much greater. Our mission is to create successful students. Successful in their local communities, and in the larger global community.
Second, “will it demonstrate fiscal stewardship?”
The public trust requires that the District be wise and economical with its resources and that the Board focus on both short- and long-term fiscal health.
And third, “will it increase operating efficiency?”
The majority of the District’s budget comes from tax dollars. That means we have a fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers to use their money effectively and not spend one dollar more than is necessary. And remember, high operating efficiency means more dollars for students, even with flat budgets.
Our schools are a major asset of the Ojai Valley. They routinely produce young people of whom we all can be proud. As a member of this community I want to put my experience in education to work to maintain and improve our schools. I want to see them shine. That’s why I am running for the Board. You can learn more about me and my ideas at http://www.shanahanforojai.com
Forming my campaign committee and identifying major issues. Feel free to share your concerns here.