It’s school budget presentation time in the Albany City School District. As a parent of students attending school here in this district for 13 years, I have frequently heard budget vote ‘encouragements’ from school board members, district staff, and even teachers (especially those involved with sports, music and art related departments) from public platforms like sports banquets, concerts, and parent-teacher organization meetings. Seldom more than a simple “don’t forget to vote” with the occasional “please approve the budget so we can keep teaching your child [subject]” thrown in for good measure.
Yesterday, however, it went too far. A department head spoke to my daughter, a high school sophomore, about the importance of her conveying to her parents the dire need for the budget to be approved. In school. No parents around. The conversation included a guilt trip explanation of how various aspects of this person’s department will have to deprive students of certain items if the budget doesn’t pass, as well as (and this is my favorite part) a laughing explanation to my daughter that the proposed school tax increase “would only amount to about $37 per $100,000 property assessment, so tell your rich policeman daddy to vote for it.” Uhhh, how out of line is that?!
I called this department head’s office today and have yet to get a return call. While I’ve been waiting, I read up on the proposed $206.7 million school budget, and am planning to attend one of the presentations before the May 20 vote (in which I would have participated anyway). You can get more information by clicking here, if you are so inclined.