school districts

May 1, 2007

A few years ago I got a master’s degree in journalism. I don’t think this really says much about me, other than I have good study habits, love reading, like to finish what I start and am basically a nerd when it comes to research. I don’t think having a graduate degree makes me any smarter than someone with a bachelor’s or even someone like my brilliant partner who has some college under his belt but a lot more real-world, practical experience.

I never feel quite as limited by my intelligence as when I leave one of my lovely school board meetings. Being a reporter means being able to jump into any situation, however chaotic or confusing it may be, and try to see the light and reason behind it all. The goal at times is to find the right words to express the sheer chaos of the situation.

Tonight I came home from a board meeting that may lead to a couple of people losing their jobs or significantly losing hours because the district overspent. There was also a big issue about consolidating facilities. Trying to make sense of how and where a district spends its budget is a monster task. Worse, I have to do my best to try and find any inconsistencies or possible dishonesty. If I didn’t do these things then I wouldn’t be doing my job. There were a lot of people who felt betrayed by the board’s actions. My sense was that they felt something was not right, but didn’t know how or where to point the finger.

That’s why it’s been two hours since the meeting ended and I’m still reading and highlighting through documents. It’s a good thing I’m such a nerd about research.

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