The paper “The School Board and the Superintendents Should Actively Discuss a School’s Financial Issues" is a great example of a term paper on education. The education of our children is a very important element in our society. The kids are the future entrepreneurs, inventors, scientist and doctors that will lead the economy and social institutions of the 21st century. A strong education system is a mandatory requirement for the success of all developing nations and it plays a larger role in industrialized nations which required a highly skilled and educated workforce to compete in the global marketplace. Parents have a right to be informed about the decisions school administrators and the government is realizing regarding the finances of the school systems. This paper provides insight into the efforts of the government, the school boards, and superintendents are performing to keep the general public informed regarding the financial issues of the school systems.
The proposed national school budget in the United States for the year 2008 is $62.6 billion, which is a 5% decrease from the 2007 fiscal year (Wall Street Journal Online, 2007). Considering the rising costs of items such as administrative expenses, energy costs and essential materials such as books a 5% decrease is significant. Added to the inflationary effects the US population is growing at a rate of one birth every 7 seconds and one international migrant every 27 seconds, two factors which are bringing more kids into the school systems every year (Census, 2007). The school districts budgets are directly and indirectly financed by different federal, state and city taxes. The general population are the ones paying for their children education, thus it is the responsibility of the professional administrating these funds to provide information on how the educational funds are being utilized and to provide solutions on how to improve the system.
In order for school systems to be able to effectively communicate financial issues to the general public, they must raise community awareness and provide honest and truthful information to the people. Within the school systems, they are two important figures which control the flow of information. These two figures are the school superintendent and the school board. The superintendent is directly responsible in the process of providing the public with information and serves as an intermediary between the people, the school board and the teacher’s union (Aasa, 2002). The school boards primary agenda is raising student achievement and involving the community in the attainment of that goal (Vtvsba, 2007). They are held accountable along with other administrators within the school district for the academic achievement of the students.
The superintendents and the board of directors have various alternative mediums they can utilize to provide information in regards to financial issues of the school system. Some of the alternatives include neighborhood meetings, television or radio interviews, newsletters, the internet, recurrent articles in local newspapers, other press releases and direct written correspondence. Television interviews provide benefits such as the ability to provide information within a controlled environment and the potential of reaching very large amounts of citizens. Some of the disadvantages of the method are that there is no interaction between the key parties and the method tends to provide general instead of specific information about the key issues. One way to provide well research and specific information about key financial problems or issues is through newsletters. If these are mail directly or send to parents through the students they have a great chance of reaching the targeted audience. The internet is a good tool to advertise any informative events and obtain important feedback from the community. The medium which is the most effective at reaching the community is face to face encounters in the form of meetings with the community. It is imperative to utilize multiple methods over a sustained period of time to provide many opportunities to discuss the topic and obtain the best solutions (Leatherman & Howell, 2000).
There are different ways to approach the communication process and resolve any problems within the school system. Some of the methods that can be utilized are listed below:
- Scientific approach
- Promotional approach
- Analytical approach
- Alternatives and consequences approach (Leatherman & Howell, 2000).
The scientific approach is a very powerful tool that is utilized a lot by researchers. The method is not the best at dealing with public problems because it judges alternatives based on a value system which complicates the evaluation of alternatives (Leatherman & Howell, 2000). The promotional approach hypes up the issue and it is susceptible to political influence. The analytical approach is too rigid and limits the possibilities of solutions. The best approach to deal with open discussions between the public and the school to find solutions is the alternatives and consequences approach. This method is superior because it provides a systematic process for understanding the relative benefits and liabilities associated with the choices (Leatherman & Howell, 2000).
The school board and the superintendents of the schools have to openly discuss in a serious manner any issues regarding the finances of a school’s system. The taxpayers provide the funds to the system and are directly affected by the quality of education provided since their children are the end-users of the service the school system provides. The best way to communicate and discuss a school’s financial issues is by utilizing multiple communicative methods over sustained periods of time. Both sides must listen to each other and analyze the alternative solutions in the negotiating table and what are the consequences of implementing any potential alternative. In the end, all decisions must be made taking into consideration the welfare of our children.