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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tell Dr. Rock to "pound sand” by voting "NO" on the 5/8/12 bond request


I spoke at the end of the 4/23/12 Clarkston School Board meeting, providing reasons for people to vote no on the 5/8/12 $20 million school bond.  At the beginning of the meeting, there were a mixture of people who spoke about the bond during public comment regarding the bond - both for and against it. 
There are many reasons why I am against this bond, but I only had my allotted two minutes.  
I was not able to finish all of my comments.  See here for my prepared comments at the board meeting. 
I believe that one of the main reasons the district planned the election for May was to prevent having issues with the employee unions.  The teachers did not get their raises this school year.  The bus drivers and the custodians took significant pay cuts two years ago and have not had raises since.  Dr. Rock has stated that he will press ahead with the technology purchases, whether or not the bond passes.  Therefore, if the bond doesn’t pass, the money to fund it will come out of the general fund.  This will result in employee pay cuts, layoffs, and large class sizes.  This is a grossly irresponsible act by the superintendent and four board members.  Holding the employee contracts hostage based on the bond outcome is wrong.      
Dr. Rock’s calculations for employee expenses in the 2012/13 bond explanation on 4/14 assume no pay raises for any employees and no increases in costs over the years of the bond.   This is impossible and fiscally irresponsible.      
Is it worth our children’s and employee’s health to take the risk of installing Wi-Fi and having hundreds of students and employees utilizing the wireless devices that emit electromagnetic radiation in close quarters six hours a day, five days a week, for forty weeks a year and thirteen years in a school career?
  1. It can cause heart palpitations, headaches, memory issues, and many other problems in short term use in of sensitive people (3% of the population) and has been shown to cause tumors after long term exposure. 
  2. One in 700 children have Wolfe-Parkinson-White Syndrome.  A student in the high school was diagnosed with that from the Beaumont heart screening.  If he had not been diagnosed and had surgery, the Wi-Fi usage in the school may have prevented him from attending school because the EMF radiation from the Wi-Fi probably would have caused tachycardia or could have killed him.  Based on the number of students in the district, we could have another eight students who also have WPW Syndrome. 
  3. Dr. Rock says he wants students to learn and use critical thinking, but apparently he doesn't want to hear about it if it contradicts his opinion.  There is research and "critical thinking" that went into research on the dangers of long term exposure to low level EMF radiation, but Dr. Rock quotes study findings funded by groups that stand to benefit financially from the proliferation of wireless technology.  He wants to experiment on our children.   
Currently, the MEAP testing is the only real way to measure “learning”, yet the district has not provided the board or the public with any evidence that the technology pilots have provided anything beyond excitement, nor that the technology rollout will increase MEAP scores. 
Based on Dr. Rock’s April 14th 1 to Global document:
a.       None of the preschool to 2nd grade students will have wireless devices to use from the bond.
b.      None of the children in 3rd to 5th grade in the elementary schools will have a device to bring home.  They will share them with another student and they will not get to take them home.
c.       In the 2012/13 school year, the middle school students will be the first and only students who will get the wireless devices.
d.      In the 2013/14 school year, the junior high students will be the only students to receive the devices.
e.       In the 2014/15 school year, the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders in the Elementary schools will receive their shared devices that will stay in school and the high school students will finally receive their one to one devices.
f.       Students currently in the high school will never partake in the technology based on the schedule and plan..      
Until the district has a plan for the bond that is based on facts and reality, we need VOTE NO and to “tell Dr. Rock to pound sand”.     

10 comments:

  1. Among the many reasons I'm against this bond issue is the fact that the superintendent is happy to raise my taxes "for the kids" (my personal favorite) but he's not committed enough to this district to move his own family here.

    I think he's a career climber who wants to put this on his resume before he leaves for greener pastures. This isn't about kids and it certainly isn't about Clarkston.

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  2. 4/26/12 Anonymous,

    Absolutely!

    I believe that Dr. Rock determined before he came here what he was going to do... This was not anything the public was clamoring for before he arrived on our shores.

    Now if he had moved here, brought his daughters to school here, tried to sell people on his "vision and mission", obtained the public's buy in and their request for this, the district was flush with money, the public was flush with money, the district had done their homework on the plans for the technology, AND the district KNEW it was safe technology to be used with the students and employees, we could get behind it.

    However, Dr. Rock hasn't moved here, hasn't brought his daughters to go to school here, forced his "vision and mission" statements on the board (and then explained that he had an obligation to fulfill every bit of the "vision and mission" statements he forced on the district), tried to muscle public buy in with the manifestos and rantings he publicized on the district website and in the local paper, the district has no money for this (and in fact just laid off 14 teachers), the finances of the community are very tight, the district's plans are incomplete and ill planned, AND the district has been advised that the Wi-Fi EMF radiation IS dangerous to some and potentially dangerous to everyone else and they are claiming it's fine, although there are no long term exposure EMF tests on children because it would be considered irresponsible to do tests like that on children... So I guess Dr. Rock is using OUR kids as real life test dummies...

    Dr. Rock actually claims that the technology roll out will result in the district going paperless in five years - doing away with all printers, copiers, paper, toner, ink, etc.

    Really?

    REALLY???

    Come on...

    Give me a break.

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    Replies
    1. You are absolutely right. Have you thought about running for school board? You'd be great.

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  3. I appreciate the confidence and support.

    In the fall, Joan Patterson and Sue Boatman MUST be re-elected and Barry Bomier and Cheryl McGinnis ABSOLUTELY MUST be replaced.

    If there are two great new candidates that step up to take the place of Barry and Cheryl, I will work tirelessly to get them elected as well as get Joan Patterson and Sue Boatman re-elected.

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  4. I will be voting NO for the following common sense reasons:

    1. 1. Economy/Employment: The current unemployment rate is 8.5% or 70% above normal. While the rate is certainly improving, it does NOT include those that have dropped out of the work force. I would wait on voting to incur more debt until our employment picture improves closer to the normal 5%.
    2. 2. Debt: We borrowed almost a quarter billion dollars in the last 8 years. Let’s strengthen our fiscal position and pay down our debt significantly through 2016; debt servicing cost will reduce by almost half.
    3. 3. Spending: Reduce current expenditures to meet revenue, not exceed it. We need to stop using borrowed funds to “balance the budget.”
    4. 4. Rainy Day Fund: Create a true rainy day account funded by excess revenue over expenditures.
    5. 5. Cost-Benefit: Perform a thorough analysis of the proposed expenditures without rushing the vote.
    6. Revenue: Increase revenue through operating grants and volunteer contributions.

    Thankfully, our economy is improving and we are not out of the woods.

    I would suggest taking this up when we are in a stronger fiscal position.

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  5. Thanks NPBR. I hope you go out and vote NO today!

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  6. Yes, the Rockettes must go. Show's over.

    Joan Patterson and Sue Boatman have my support, as well. Thank goodness there are people willing to think for themselves.

    We also need a bylaw prohibiting these expensive, stealth "special" elections.

    If Rod Rock views this as a vote of no confidence, perhaps he'll take his "vision and mission" to another school district where he won't buy a house. Or maybe he'll officially join the Apple/Cisco payroll.

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  7. May 8th Anonymous,

    I couldn't agree more.

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  8. I couldn't find any information (via a few searches) regarding the procedure to become a candidate for the fall school board elections and more info regarding the position, specifically time commitments. Do you happen to have a link you could share?

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  9. Craig,

    Please contact Heidi McClain, Dr. Rock's secretary, about applying to run for the school board.

    ReplyDelete