Region 9 Board of Education
My husband and I live in Redding because we want the best public education for our three children. (Two are at Joel Barlow High School, one is at JRMS). If elected to the Region 9 Board of Education, I will support Barlow’s tradition of excellence and ensure programs develop well-rounded, young adults and prepare them for higher education and the global workplace. I believe a strong focus on education will benefit our long-term property values.
As Region 9 governs both education and finance, my background provides the needed skill set to act as a champion for comprehensive education and a responsible steward for the school budgets.
I have 22+ years of finance expertise in budgeting, accounting, reporting, and auditing. This provides a strong foundation to develop appropriate and reasonable budgets to ensure educational services are delivered effectively without sacrificing quality.
For 10 years, I worked for an association to develop and deliver educational programs and advocated issues with federal regulatory agencies. I also provided 10 years of volunteer service at the local and state level.
This experience has prepared me to support development of curriculum that meets the learning needs of all Barlow students and to be inclusive and open-minded – willing to listen to varying views, and patient with the process of finding consensus. I also hope to apply my advocacy experience to explore how Redding can influence state level policies in education.
The biggest issue facing Redding is maintaining high quality town services amidst changes in population and resources. While certain obligations are under Redding’s control, other factors such as demographics, state funding, are not.
As a Region 9 board member, I propose to address this for Joel Barlow High School through development of a 5-year education plan. That plan would be measured by relevant metrics (e.g. SAT/ACT scores, % of college attendance, academic course offerings, expected enrollment, GPA, participation in arts, music, athletic programs). The education plan would be open to public comment, and perhaps voter balloting, before finalization.
The education plan would be the basis for a multi-year budget, for which certain costs (e.g. staff contracts, busing, facilities) are known. Estimates would have to be made for other cost items (e.g. snow removal).
At the start of an annual budget cycle, year 1 of the multi-year budget would be compared to the proposed budget for the current year. Differences must be explained and open to public comment. The resulting review and discussion would form the basis for the final budget for ballot in year 1.
Any changes to the education plan that result from the annual budget would be open again for public comment. Year 2 of the revised education plan would then be used for the year 2 budget and so forth.
This process would keep the school, board and public focused on Barlow’s long-term quality and also maintain sound financial management.
If the educational plan is 5 years, but the fixed costs are 3 years, there could be an opportunity to have the educational objectives drive the budget rather than the other way around.
Visit www.grazonboard.com for more information.
On November 7 please vote for me, Cheryl Graziano, for Region 9 Board of Education.