In announcing her candidacy, incumbent Carolyn Mebert invited citizens to get in touch with her regarding their views.
I just filed my candidacy for Ward 3 School Board. Please let me know what your concerns are, what questions you have, what issues you’d like to discuss. Feel free to call me at 603-969-1530 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Important issues for the school board include:
The budget is, understandably, at the top of the list for many people. Everyone needs to keep in mind that the tax cap is for the entire city budget, not separated by school/municipality/county. The average % of property taxes going to schools in NH is 63%. In Dover, it is 53%. That's worth looking at and thinking about.
·Addressing the needs of all of our students should be paramount. We spend a lot of money on special education. Does anyone know what the average cost per student with an IEP is?
·People complain about our test scores. They should look at the disaggregated scores, not just the total. Like many other districts in the nation, our lower income students (identified in the disaggregated data as SES) score lower than our non-low-income students. Why is that and what are we doing about it? What can we do? The Adequacy Aid we receive from the state has differentiated aid for students eligible for free/reduced lunch. Should that money be directed toward programs that might (based on research findings) support the needs of this group of students? Such programs, e.g., facilitating the development of executive functions, would probably be beneficial for all students.
·Also regarding test scores: The latest state test is fully computerized. Dover did not have 1:1 computers until this past year, so we had students with little to no computer experience doing fairly complex things on a computer during the testing. Perhaps the test assessed things other than their language arts and math ability?
Knowing that our budget was not meeting all needs in the district, a group of us founded SEED (Seacoast Educational Endowment for Dover) in 2011. Since then, and through the generosity of individuals and businesses in our community, we have funded around $200,000 in grants to teachers, paid for a couple of carts of Chromebooks and, most recently, purchased some audio-visual equipment that can be used with the new computer technology available to students and teachers.
I encourage you to reach out to me with questions/comments/concerns as we move through this election season, email: email@example.com, phone: 603-969-1530.