Superintendent's Corner for February 2018
The month of February has arrived in Lynx Country and it is shaping up to be busy. Our winter sports programs are headed to the postseason on a roll. We had several wrestlers advance to the District meet and both basketball teams won Tri-River’s conference titles and now are setting their goal on returning to the state tournament. The basketball teams will host opening rounds of their respective tourneys in the coming weeks. Our archery program is experiencing success and recently hosted their first annual home tournament. Our speech program has been doing very well in competition, as well as our dance teams. The band program has competed in a few recent events and now is under a new director due to a mid-year resignation.
Recently, I was able to go down to the statehouse to visit with our state representatives on school funding and other issues facing North Linn Schools. I was unable to speak with our representatives due to them being in meetings, but I spoke to some from the Cedar Rapids area. Their message was that school vouchers are going to be passed in some form this session. I asked one representative why this was necessary when parents already have student choice with “open enrollment.” Why would they earmark public tax money for parents to take that money and send their children to private, parochial, or homeschool their children? These types of schooling are not subject to any accountability and how would they show if students were benefitting? The representative said public schools were failing to educate students. Many superintendents are in agreement that if the legislature continues to not fund schools, we will not get the resources our teachers need to educate our students, and then you are setting up schools for failure.
Two important bills are looking like they will pass: Operational Sharing and extending the one-cent sales tax for school infrastructure. Operational Sharing allows schools to share personnel with other schools and receive state funding. North Linn shares transportation director, human resources, business manager, and maintenance directors. The one-cent sales tax is allowing us to use the money generated to pay off bonds that we issued to pay off the elementary building. Some money is also used to buy technology related items. I encourage all stakeholders in the North Linn Community Schools to contact your state representatives and tell them school vouchers are not the right direction!
We have also launched a new website at North Linn and we are very proud of the contents. Please browse through it and let us know what you think! Have a great February!
- Chris Fenster, Superintendent