I have never written a letter to the editor before, but the time has come. I am writing in support of Orlenda Roberts for County School Superintendent.
This race shouldn’t be between Republicans, Tea Party, Independents or Democrats. It should be about what is best for kids and Orlenda Roberts is BEST FOR KIDS! I have listened to Jill Broussard spout what she is going to do if she is elected and I have read what she professes she will do, but NEVER have I heard her say HOW she is going to do all this. There has been no substance in any of her proposals that I have heard or seen.
She says we need a high school for those who don’t want to go to college. Well, Pinal County HAS one. It is called CAVIT. I guess she has never heard of it. They offer nine different programs that do not lead to a four year degree. They have everything from aesthetics to veterinary asst. Our area high schools offer other vocational subjects such as woodworking, agriculture, culinary arts, child care, auto mechanics and hospitality which may or may not lead to going further in school so the training is already in place!!
Much of the funding for these programs comes from grants too which Ms. Broussard has said she would do away with because she doesn’t believe in soft money. I would challenge her to find “solid” money to pay for these programs.
She keeps saying she believes if a person is going to become a member of a local school board, s/he should live in the community. Well, Ms. Broussard, they HAVE to live in the community at the present time unless something has changed that ruling.
She has said she would go to the local school boards and help them balance their budgets. She cannot do that as county school superintendent. That is NOT part of her job.
She has said she would do away with the Professional Development Division of the county school office because it is based on soft money and then in the same breath says she would provide more teacher training. Of course she has never said where she is going to get the money to do all this training if she does away with the positions that presently perform these trainings.
She says she believes every school should have a reading specialist. I agree with this but that again is not up to the county school superintendent. It is up to the local districts. She cannot dictate to them. I GUARANTEE you that the specific schools under Mrs. Roberts do have reading specialists to work with the students who need it. There are even para professionals to assist with this problem area in the schools Mrs. Roberts oversees.
Mrs. Roberts has brought in over $10 million in grants in the time she has been county school superintendent. This is money that has come from the federal government and is going to go to some county somewhere and why not Pinal? So far as I can determine, Ms. Broussard has no experience in overseeing budgets or writing grants. That scares me when I look to see what all the grant money that has come into Pinal County has done to improve education possibilities for the children of our county.
I have spent the past 65 years of my life involved in education in one aspect or another—whether it was as a student, teacher or working at a district/county level so I think I can recognize talent, honesty and what is best for our kids so far as education is concerned. I recognize all those things in Orlenda F. Roberts. Please get out and vote for the best on November 6, 2012. VOTE FOR ORLENDA F. ROBERTS FOR COUNTY SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT.
/S/Lolly Davies, Retired Educator
Casa Grande, AZ
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