My last post, critical about the Beaumont High School pool not being shared with the community as the city council and school district promised us, generated a lot of comments on the Banning-Beaumont Patch. I was accused of bashing my community and my school district. I was told if I was "so unhappy with Beaumont Unified and The City of Beaumont maybe you should see what Banning has to offer their community". In response to my complaint about the temperature of the water in the city pool at Stewart park, it was suggested I dig a hole in my backyard and build a pool and then I could "set the temperature as high as his little heart desires." One quote said "It appears as if Mr. White puts a lot of time into looking for issues to gripe about."
On the other hand, Mayor Pro-Tem Berg and Councilman De Forge acknowledged the city was expecting the district to share the pool with the community more and they believed it should be more available to the public. I am pleased to know so many are following what I am writing on the Patch. Many of those reading and responding to my posts on the Patch are not familiar with what I have been doing the last four years.
My family loves living in Beaumont.I think the teachers, classified employees and site administrators in the BUSD are some of the finest people I know. They are hard working and they really care about our kids. I have very little to say about the Beaumont city council because I haven't been following their actions very closely. I do know our city has been growing and, unlike most cities in California, Beaumont is financially sound; I thank our city administration and city council for that.
I have been following the actions of our school district's administration very close. So I will speak about something I do know about.
Our district's administration is made up of some really good people that have spent most of their careers in a culture, the public school culture, which is different from what most of us are familiar with. Public school administrations have been operating for decades under the assumption that there will always be more money next year. Even as we watch our state and local governments spend away our children’s future, I've heard some in our administration say things like "once the economy turns around" and "our budgets return to normal", we'll be fine. I don’t believe our public schools will see annually increasing budgets anytime soon, if ever again.
There is no lack of parent involvement as volunteers in our schools and I often wonder where we would be without these volunteers but there is a serious lack of parent involvement in the business of managing our school district and planning for the future. I blame parents most for this but I understand how difficult it is to find time to get involved. I also know, probably more than most, how frustrating it is to try and make a difference when the administration isn't interested in really listening to what parents have to say. I blame our administration for their lack of effort to get more parents involved in making the decisions about sacrifices we all know we need to make. I worry that until parents provide the direction, I believe our administration lacks, the administration will continue to refuse to accept reality.
When our property values plummeted and many of us found ourselves upside down in our mortgages, we made sacrifices. When some lost their jobs or had their incomes drastically reduced, they made sacrifices. We make the sacrifices for our kids. And, we make the sacrifices mindful of how our children and their futures are going to be affected. I think we, parents, are in the best position to advise our district's administration on what sacrifices will have the most negative impact on our kids and their future.
The issue with the high school pool is one of many issues I have written about. I am a little surprised that of all the issues I’ve discussed, that this one generated so much discussion, there are so many more important topics I’ve blogged about. However, contrary to some of the comments in response to my post about the pool, I'm not bashing my community and I don't just look for issues to gripe about. I've offered solutions. I've served on district committees. I've volunteered on my kids' school site council and PTA. I helped to organize and promote a charity run that gave thousands to our schools' parent organizations. I have attended almost every board meeting over the past four school years.
My purpose is to get more parents involved and to make a difference in our kids' education. I believe if the BUSD administration would make a serious effort to get more parents involved, more parents would make the effort. Our kids, and the community of Beaumont, desrve this and will be much better off with more parent involvement.