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Letter: Thank You Saline

School board candidates David Holden and David Zimmer thank the community on the eve of the election.

We are pleased that our message was received by over 3,800 homes of supporters and independent citizens on Sunday night. Our call was intended to remind the citizens of our community of the upcoming election of tomorrow Nov. 8. As we have been saying for many months, this election is the most critical school board election for the citizens of Saline in over 20 years. We are pleased that we were able to remind thousands of Saline residents of the importance of this election, to our children, our parents, and the taxpayers of our community via our telephone call to your home last night.

Our approach this entire election has been to engage in information sharing, encouraging our citizens to reengage themselves in the challenges facing our school district. We have actively sought out ways to learn your views and concerns. We talked about the different ways we could work together to find solutions to rebuild the fiscal stability of our district while restoring our class sizes; so our students, educators and citizens of our community succeed.

This approach resulted in our visiting over 1900 homes in our community to gather your views, having 4 "Chalk Talks" to gather your perspective and openly discussing the successes and challenges we face as a school district. These actions were unprecedented in the history of our community, no other candidates have ever worked so hard to gather your views about your priorities for our school district.

We did so because of our commitment to the children, parents and taxpayers of our community.

We believe that only through this level of activity could we effectively collect your perspective about the priorities of our community.

As a reminder to everyone, ten years ago we had a reserve rate of over 22 percent, our kindergarten classes averaged 18 children, our K-2 classes had 22 children and our high school classes averaged close to 28 students to a classroom. Today, our reserve is at a historical low, insolvency is less than a year away unless we address our structural deficit, our class sizes are now 32 children at the fifth grade level, 38 at the seventh grade level and having classes over 40 students is now the new normal at the high school.

We ask you, is this the status quo you want or do you want something better?

As a nation we are blessed with the right to vote, we encourage all voters of the Saline School District to take the time to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011.

We thank the citizens of the Saline Area Schools district who have taken the time to talk with us, we believe that by working together, progress can be made.

Carter Bishop November 08, 2011 at 02:21 AM
I was very pleased to get your "robo call" if that is what your opponents want to call it. The two of you are leaps and bounds more experienced with what is necessary to get Saline Schools back on sound financial footing. Those currently in place have been reckless in their spending and poor stewards of the taxpayers money.
Paul Hynek November 08, 2011 at 02:48 AM
According to the budget blog on the SAS website, in the 2001-2002 school year (10 years ago) the "fund balance" was 8.91% (http://blogs.salineschools.com/budget/2010/02/18/historical-fund-balance-information/screen-shot-2010-02-18-at-75948-pm/) unless by "reserve rate" you are referring to something different. From the September 13, 2011 Board Meeting minutes, the average class sizes were stated to be: K-1st 23; 2nd 26; 3rd 27.5; 4th 29; 5th 31; 6th 30; 7th 32; 8th 33. 13% of the high school classes are at 40 or above, unacceptable, no doubt, but possibly not the "new normal". Maybe your statistics are more recent since September.
Bo Wilson November 08, 2011 at 10:49 AM
Two candidates running hand in hand, spending an unprecedented amount of money, I hope we never find out their REAL agenda. There is something very scary about these two.
Bo Wilson November 08, 2011 at 10:52 AM
Two candidates running hand in hand, spending an unprecedented amounts of money to get elected, supported by groups outside the district, I hope we never find out their REAL agenda.
Mary Hess November 08, 2011 at 08:57 PM
I want to thank all the canidates and their families for offering to serve their city and their school district . It is NOT for the pay. I have been in about 14 of local elections over the years. It was of course more fun to win. But even with my loses I offered myself as a choice and others their power of the vote to choose. THANK YOU

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