Dr. Norman Quintero: Students Pay the Costs of Absenteeism and Untapped Resources
Third in a series on the 'Road Map' to success for underperforming school districts
PERRIS, Calif., October 2, 2018 (Newswire.com) - With slightly less than 6,000 students spread among eight facilities, the Perris Elementary School district is relatively small as compared to many others throughout the state of California. Despite the fact that 90 percent of the student body meets the criteria of being “socio-economically disadvantaged,” per-pupil allocations are slightly above the statewide average. Yet PESD consistently ranks in the bottom one-third of achievement levels and other categories in service to the community and its children.
Funding and tools for public school districts can come from many sources. In addition to a fixed tax base, many supplemental programs are available to provide revenues from local, state and federal agencies. As well, both public and private sector grants can increase annual budgets, while corporate sponsors routinely donate of goods and services. In order to take full advantage of these well-deserved opportunities and assets, governing school boards must be aggressively proactive in both identifying and pursuing them. In the most recent 80-paged Local Control Accountability Plan and Annual Update, among numerous deficiencies, “needs,” “goals” and “performance gaps,” nowhere is addressed the simplest and most obvious of solutions or strategies.
Any small investment in the time, thought and effort required to research and access the means to improve or create after school, special education and tutorial programs pales in comparison to the potential benefits. Too many of those who reference “vision” and “commitment” overlook the remedies at hand. Too many of those who generate mountains of paperwork and navigate miles of red tape fail to fill out a few more forms in order provide a higher quality of education.
On any given day, one out of five PESD students does not attend classes. Obviously, that is one day that each falls behind. What many taxpayers and parent don’t realize is that the school district is penalized financially based on “average daily attendance.” Somewhere along the line, someone or some committee determined that bus transportation should only be available to families who lived outside a 2.5-mile radius from their children’s school. Otherwise, a 6- or 12-year-old should be expected to walk – potentially alone – for up to an hour each way, both to and from school each day … regardless of weather, traffic, physical ability or potential danger.
Dr. Norman Quintero, a candidate for the PESD School Board is a product of the American public school system and a longstanding member of the local community with eight children of his own. He has overcome a lower-income childhood and serious medical challenges to achieve two doctorates and become an internationally recognized advocate for education, mental health and children.
“I’ve devoted my training, my career and my life to serving those in need. I am not a politician, but this election provides me another opportunity to apply my successes as a practical businessman, spiritual leader and activist on behalf of our kids.”
Source: Dr Norman Quintero
Categories: Public Schools