The transcript of the testimony of Deborah Grill at the SRC meeting of November 16, 2017

Deborah Grill


During all of the Priority School community meetings I attended, I listened to parents over and over again decry the staffing and program cuts that their school has suffered. They voice their concerns for the safety of their children and the lack of staff and resources to meet the needs of their most traumatized students.

Unfortunately, the district is considering plans to spend the designated funding for Priority Schools on contracts with outside organizations. After researching these organizations, I suspect they will tell you to do everything but what actually needs to be done.

However, you already know what needs to be done. For example, when the district took over Kenderton Elementary, after parents and students suffered through 2 failed corporate ed reform models, you gave them the supports they needed to be successful: a strong, experienced principal, an assistant principal, a school police officer, 2 counselors, a school psychiatrist, 6 climate workers, classroom assistants, and smaller class size.   In other words, exactly what the parents at the priority school meetings have asked for.

When you gave Kenderton the staff and resources it needed, you acknowledged that students cannot learn in an unsafe, unstable environment.   You also acknowledged the perils of contracting out services instead of providing them yourself.

Now that we know that you know what schools need to be successful, if your first step in helping these Priority Schools is not providing them with the staffing and resources that they need, and that the parents have asked for, then we can conclude that you have no intention of actually helping these schools and that these community meetings, focus groups, and the ensuing shallow reports were just a charade to appease parents while you do what you intended to do all along—squander more district funds on questionable programs provided by “education” entrepreneurs.