School Board Candidate Questions: Lorna Klotzbach, Oakfield-Alabama
The Batavian emailed candidate questions to all 17 candidates in Genesee County's eight school districts that are holding elections on Tuesday. Only four returned completed questionnaires.
This is the response from Lorna Klotzbach, a candidate for the Oakfield-Alabama Central School District Board. There are two other candidates in the race: Tim Edgerton, who also answered our questions, and Douglas Esten, who did not.
1. What is your position on your school district’s proposed budget for 2018-19? What parts do you support? What parts would you change if you could?
I will vote “yes” on the budget for 2018-2019. There are allocations of funds in it that I would change. I would reduce administrative and other costs in favor of maintaining good academic programs that are now in place, but which are being cut in the new budget. I would change the way our computer technology monies are being spent because I have not seen benefits from several of the BOE’s 2017-2018 technology spending decisions, and doubt the wisdom of some of their new budget decisions as well.
2. Are teachers in your district compensated adequately?
Teachers at OACS are compensated adequately for most things that we do. Of course, we all tend to want more than we have! We have difficulty finding competent substitute teachers so when we do find competent ones, those individuals should be paid more for their competence. My major disagreement with OA teacher compensation is that some non-athletic extra-curricular positions are not compensated at a rate equal to the athletic coaches. Many of these positions require as much time, creativity and student-teacher interaction as the athletic coaching positions do. Since many of these positions are, perhaps, more likely to prepare students for future successes in college, career, and character, they deserve as much compensation as the athletic positions.
3. Parents are more nervous than ever about school safety. Is your district’s communication to parents about school safety policies and procedures adequate? Should parents and the community be informed when a student makes a threat of violence against the school?
OACS administration keeps their public informed of threats to student safety. OA administration makes use of the “robo-calling” system and letters/emails to inform parents of problems as they become aware of such problems. If upon investigation, threats made by students seem to be credible, then the public should be informed. In our small community, many people are interested in, and affected by, the school’s schedule so our district’s notification system would be more effective if it was extended to residents who are not also parents or teachers.
4. Are you satisfied that your district responds to parents’ complaints and concerns in a way that ensures the parents know they have been heard?
There are many stakeholders in our district, including parents. There are also teachers and students who are most affected by BOE and administrators’ policy and daily decisions. Our district could improve its response to all stakeholders’ complaints, compliments, and concerns.
5. What two books published since The Enlightenment have influenced you the most?
The two books published since the Enlightenment that have influenced me the most have been modern translations of the Bible, and “Hawaii,” by James Michener. I followed my siblings’ example and read that big novel while still very young. It taught me to read more than just the dialogue pages. It opened up to me the influences of history, geography, cultural norms, and politics on regular people’s daily lives. I read books much differently after I grappled with all of the novel’s “other pages” of description and discovered the wealth they could deliver. The modern translations of the Bible challenged and deepened my Christian faith beyond a childlike conformity to my family’s norms. The modern language Bible showed me a living God.