Living in Hanover

Living in Hanover

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Whose Job Is It?

July 2, 2012 | 1 Comment

One positive that has come out of the rigmarole in the Hanover Public School District is the ability to see people’s true colors.

The Instrumental Music Parents Club (IMPC) jumped into action right away. A similar organization for parents involved in the drama program has already started to form. Just like we see in so many instances, people have decided to band together to find a solution to this problem.

But is the problem the fact that music and drama are on the chopping block or the attitude of the board and administration?

I like Al Moyer. I enjoyed the brief interactions I have had with board member Scott Roland. According to them, however, it’s not their fault that we don’t like the decision they made. It’s our fault.

Al says the people who feel aggrieved need to come up with a solution. Scott says we should have been poring over the budget months ago to find cuts no one expected (well, the music stuff has been floating around in theory, but I have never heard anyone say that drama faced any imminent threat).

No, the board and administration don’t need to come up with an alternate plan because we’re all too lazy, I guess. God forbid they actually inform people of the specific programmatic cuts ahead of time instead of waiting to address “rumors” on the night they are voting on the budget.

I am trying not to make this into a sports vs. arts thing, but it’s hard not to when one side is being cut and the others doesn’t seem to be facing any reduction in opportunity or funding. Regardless, do you think they would have waited until the last minute to trim the basketball schedule by 20 percent and then told the athletic boosters to come up with their own solution?

The district has a website dedicated to trying to raise money for the new stadium. Where was this kind of effort when they realized they “had to” cut the arts funding? Where was a community solution, a shared responsibility? What does it say about leadership when the answer is “we made a decision, now you come up with a better one, but it needs to be fast?”

I have lived in Hanover for 20 years. I covered the school district for 18 months or so back in the 1990s and have paid attention to what goes on ever since we bought a house in the borough in 1995. I don’t remember all the names of the people who have cycled through the board room, but I remember their legacies.

There were “The Ones Who Built the Middle School,” “The Ones Who Hated the Middle School,” “The Ones Who Got Rid of Sol Lausch,” “The Ones Who Wasted Our Money on Michelle Bortner,” “The Ones Who Wanted to Move Washington” and “The Ones Who Stopped Them From Moving Washington.”

Hopefully we’ll have “The Ones Who Tried to Remove Arts From The Schools But Failed.”

One person is talking about “Whose Job Is It?

  1. Communication is certainly a major part of the issue here. Obviously, any changes in programs impacts a segment of students, and any decision regarding change will be seen in a negative light be some. The Board and administration, however, compounded the problem of funding by avoiding open discussion and feedback, rather than promoting interaction with all involved. Taking a much more visible approach at the first stages of study may have seemed risky in terms of initial criticism, but ultimately would have benefited everyone.

    Andy

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