Strategic Planning: Facilities (Part 2)

porter-township-schools-logoThis week I decided to use the weekly update to address some feedback I had following last week's update on facility needs. I will list a question and then an answer below in blue. I have grouped similar questions together to allow for more succinct answers.

I am curious as to what is physically wrong with the office at PLE. It is functional and the camera’s and buzzer works just fine.
I don’t understand why funding needs to go into fixing something that has nothing wrong with it. If it is not broken don’t fix it.
I’m not real sure that I understand the problem with the PLE office. It is functional and seems like it is in a good place. It is right there when you come into the building it is the first place besides the gym that you go to. Please explain more why it needs to be changes.

Very true, the staff at PLE does an amazing job of monitoring the camera and buzzer and questioning folks prior to letting them enter the building. However, once the door is buzzed open the issue is that a visitor may decide not to come straight to the office. Folks entering the building can head to the gym or down a hallway to classrooms prior to ever stopping at the office, and this is a safety concern. Having an office where visitors enter and cannot access the rest of the building is a much safer option for our students and staff and something that is a very high priority for us. Our PLE staff does an amazing job at monitoring a visitor's entrance into the building, but the office is a busy place and while addressing a student need time may pass before it is realized that the visitor did not come to the office. This is not just a concern for me, but for our staff at PLE as well. Safety is a priority to us, and so this is a concern.

Why not put the funding into something better like kids education and making sure every child is treated fairly and has a proper education?
How about putting the funding towards the teachers to teach them how to deal with children that have certain issues?
How about putting the funding to the teachers who need the money for classroom supplies instead of having them rely on parents that may or may not be able to buy them?

School funding is not drawn out of one big pot for every necessary expenditure. There are many pots that the state uses to distribute funds, and specific purposes for the use of each fund. All of these funds are greatly reduced. We are currently functioning at the same funding level as we were 4 years ago even though costs have risen. Some of our funding continues to be cut from the state - as is the case in our fund that is used to maintain our facilities. The general fund is used to hire teachers, provide professional development, and to pay for supplies - and there is a section on this in our strategic plan. However that section was not the focus of last week's weekly update. The facilities portion referred to in our strategic plan references a separate fund that is used to maintain, remodel, and renovate facilities. Each fund has rules about how the money can be used. The issues raised in the questions above are very important - but not ones we address with the money used for our facilities.

I appreciate the feedback - and hope that this provides some additional clarity!