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Kennedale
Friday, December 4, 2020

Controversy?

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Nothing excites as much as a controversy. This is illustrated in a Monday night public forum called by the KISD Board of Trustees to discuss usage fees for school facilities. On a normal night a meeting of the KISD School Board may ? may draw a crowd of 10 to 12 people most of that staff members. That is hardly a crowd unless it is a public restroom. The Board has perhaps increased its audience by allowing unedited videos of its regular monthly meetings to be viewed via the internet. It is not exciting watching unless you like to see the backs {{more}}of talking heads but it is the Board discussing, hearing reports and taking action for all to see. It is a chance to be informed.

The current controversy has at least drawn some interest in the often mundane issues, at least to the uninitiated, that often consume much of the Board?s time. It has also sparked some soul searching by the Board and musings that a better way of communicating to the public is needed. On the Board?s agenda is hiring a person to assist with this communication effort. A job description has been developed but the decision as to whether it will be a fulltime or part-time has not. There are great things happening on each of the campuses and lots of hard working teachers and staff. This information does deserve to be heard.

This type of controversy only distracts from the good that is happening and one of those good things has been an after-school program in operation for years. Whatever the tuition charged there is no other after-school program in the area that offers this level of experience and education by its staff. That said, it is true, as one parent stated at the Public Forum, it ?just looks bad.? When a top administrator in the school district is operating a for-profit business whose place of business is only on campuses in the Kennedale ISD, it does ?look? bad. I emphasis the look because there is no indication that anything was traded, bartered or otherwise illegally given by the school district to Dr. Furman. It seems the program is well run and the parents are happy with it. However, perception looms large in any effort to improve image and communication with the public. I think if this had been a non-profit I-Zone with a board of directors composed of parents and teachers and Dr. Furman as CEO, very little would have been said.

It is a fact that you can?t win the battle of baseless charges and crude, inappropriate words that have been batted back and forth on the internet. One word follows another which follows another and on and on. The Board and Dr. Furman have more on their minds that is of much greater significance than this issue. Let us hope that maturity and wisdom win out.

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