Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Secret #16: We need to do a better job communicating our value statement

What's the value of education?

I suspect that most of us would agree that education is priceless.

But we do live in a world with real dollar costs and I don't think school boards( or other public service bodies) do a particularly good job of informing parents and/or community members of the value of education in a way they can relate to.

For example, our school district's annual budget is now over $800 million.  That number is so large that there's no way the average person can comprehend it.  But what if we said to parents: the school board budget of about $800 million provides education for 80,000 students, or an average public investment in each child of $10,000 per year.  Now we're at a number that people can get their heads around.  In my discussions with parents, few have any idea of this per/student cost, since education is mostly "free" to them.  If we did explain it like that, I think there would be a lot less grumbling when people consider their tax obligations, and perhaps a bit more gratitude for the value of the public services they receive.

This is truly the miracle of public education: by pooling our collective resources( i.e. taxes) we can ensure a quality education for every child.

News Flash!

The Edmonton Public School Board website now has videos and more information for all the school board candidates.  Check them out by clicking here!

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