Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Candidate Jack Dunn chimes in ...

School Board candidate Jack Dunn emailed me yesterday offering some comments on why he is running. I'm publishing them here, unedited, in order to give readers a better idea of who he is:
I've lived in Concord for a year and a half, and in Northwood for the 4 years prior to that. I'm originally from the Philadelphia area, but moved up here for job reasons. I currently work for a fire protection distributor as an operations manager, overseeing vendor negotiations, technology, branch expansion, and whatever else happens to be thrown my way. My wife works at Concord Hospital, and we have a 17-month-old son who will eventually be in the Concord school system.

I am focusing on 5 areas in my run for school board:

Budget Review – I think there should be a complete review of the budget for inefficiencies due to a lack of technology, or due to procedures that are in place that may have worked 5-10 years ago but are not efficient now.

Teacher Negotiations – I strongly believe that the board needs to be a part of the teacher contract negotiations via its negotiations committee. It is my understanding that it's traditionally been done with an attorney, assistant superintendent, and the head of Human Resources. There are no board members present during the negotiations and with the $100k expenditure for a mediator on the last go-round I think it's time to try something new.

School Consolidation – I am in favor of a school consolidation plan if it first and foremost makes educational sense and second, financial sense.

Technology – I am a strong advocate for the use of technology. If you can control it, secure it, and have it be cost effective, I believe technology should be implemented. A few examples of things I see that concern me: First is the $400k that was stolen by the bookkeeper in 2006 from food services, leading to the purchase of a system that may be partially online, but will not be fully integrated until 2009 or 2010. I think the delay is inefficient. The second is the requests for proposal out on the website that are 2-3 years old; based on the request information, the contract periods they were originally designed for are up! There could potentially be cost savings there that are not being realized.

Financial Literacy – This is a course that I strongly believe needs to be taught in the schools today, maybe as a optional class at the elementary level, and middle school, but mandatory at the high school level. Publically-educated citizens need to understand the workings of checks, credit cards, 0% offers, cash advance fees, interest calculation, credit ratings, and loans, just to name a few. Have you ever purchased something in a store where the charge was $8.10, and when you hand over $10.10 all you get is a blank stare?
Thanks Jack for touching base. If any other candidates would like to submit some information about their campaigns, fee free:


Anonymous said...

Jack please show me the studies which show that consolidation from small schools to a 500 student school makes educational sense.

Anonymous said...

There is no studies, if there were, the Concord Monitor, who in my opinion is biased, they would of published it. It's why Fleming was no endorsed, he brought attention to the fact, that we should look for some proof, before moving forward.
Imagine that!