Press enter after choosing selection

Candidates Reveal Stands On School Tax Issues

Candidates Reveal Stands On School Tax Issues image Candidates Reveal Stands On School Tax Issues image
Parent Issue
Copyright Protected
Rights Held By
Donated by the Ann Arbor News. © The Ann Arbor News.
OCR Text

Special education programs and the school millage and bonding issues which will face local voters June 9 were the main topics of discussion last night at the first Candidate's Night for the contestants in the Ann Arbor Board of Education election. Eight of the nine candidates for three school board seats attended the meeting, sponsored by five parent-professional groups concerned with special education. John H. Schneider of 1332 Arella, who has not yet formally announced his candidacy but has filed candidacy petitions, was not present. About 70 people attended the session. Each candidate revealed his stand on the Ann Arbor School District's upcoming $4.9 million bonding issue and 6.67-mill request for operational funds: Cecil W. Warner, a senior engineering administrator at Bendix Aerospace Systems División and an unsuccessful school board candidate last year; said he "wholeheartedly" supports the bonding issue for construction of a fifth junior high school. He does not support the millage request, saying he would have "fought very hard," had he been a board member this year, for a request of about 4.8 milis, including the 3.37-mill renewal. Henry Johnson, director of group care and counseling at the W. J. Maxey Training School for Boys in Whitmore Lake, said he supports the bonding issue. He called the fifth junior high a "desperately needed" facility. Johnson "wholeheartedly and unequivocally" supports the millage request. Dr. Ronald C. Bishop, chief of the Medical Service at Veterans Administration Hospital, said he "strongly supports" both requests. Mrs. Mary Jane Shoultz, a consultant with the University's Child Development Consultant Project, said she "hated" to give her stand since "money has so little to do with good education." But she said she would support both issues. James W. Anderson Jr., former chairman of the Ann Arbor Human Relations Commission and assistant manager of the photography department at The Quarry, Inc., gave his support to both issues, along with the Intermedíate School District's Va-mill request for special education programs. I John C. Cruz, assistant supervisor of laboratory animal medicine at the University, said he backed both requests. Gerald Gottleib, president of the Lakewood School Parent-Teacher Organization, said he I "strongly supports" the bonding issue and the I Intermedíate School District's request, both of I which he said are "desperately needed." But he Idoes not back the 6.67-mill proposal. Gottleib I said the school district, in his opinión, can "get along with 4 to 4.5 milis without affecting the program in any way whatsoever," except perhaps dropping the French program in the elementary schools and slightly increasing class sizes. Ivan Kemp, a director of instructional material at a Livonia high school, gave his support to the bonding and special education proposals, but not to the 6.67-mill request. Several candidates criticized the Ann Arbor School District for not providing enough programs for children with learning disabilities and special education problems. Johnson called Supt. W. Scott Westerman Jr.'s proposed budget "almost totally inadequate" for children with special problems. "I think much more needs to be done, I anH rmiph morp. nppds to hp. done soon." Johnson said he was a candidate for the school I board because he hopes to "push" for special education improvements to make physically, mentally and emotionally handicapped children productive members of society, "not social liabilities." Anderson also commented the school district has not addressed itself "in an appropriate manner to the total education of children with learning disabilities, be they physical, mental or emotional. We need programs which start at preschool and run through high school or the maximum attainable level of which the child is capable." ' "It has been suggested to me that we do not have enough classrooms at all levéis which are necessary to meet the needs of children who must have special classrooms. It has also been suggested to me that we do not have available enough supportive special staff which can assist the regular classroom teacher," Anderson stated. Anderson said supporting the Intermedíate School District and Ann Arbor School District's millage proposals are only a "beginning" in launching a "total assault on this program void. He also suggested that a director of special education be hired in Anri Arbor. . Cruz, a 39-year-old bachelor who has lived m Ann Arbor about nine years, said for the school board because Ie "not be delegated only to people but also to people with a "more point," ... a remark which dr laughter. He said he was interes administration of taxes, and said t will only remain strong by listei tions" in Ann Arbor. Gottleib questioned the "exc school system, saying he is not s grams are "as effective as they c the school system increased it: warned, "we're going to tax oursc ness." Gottleib suggested increasini decrease costs. With properly trai proper materials, he said, a t "comfortable with 50 children" in Kemp also talked about pupi he was running idership should with children," objective vieww appreciative ted in a "just" ie school system ing to "all facallence" of the ure all the pro)uld be." Unless efficiency, he lves. out of busiclass sizes to ïed teachers and acher could be a class. i-teacher ratios, saying Ann Arbor's is "one of the lowest in the state," and most proposed program cuts could be scrapped if the ratio was raised. He also declared that schools and school trustees must "make themselves accountable to the people." Mrs. Shoultz emphatically commented that children with special education problems should not be separated from "normal" children and be put in separate classrooms. "Separate is not equal, and if it's not equal, it's not democratie." She also charged a school system "based on literacy can't communicate," and urged schools to remove their "single standard" and let children work at their own pace. "The three R's aren't relevant any more, except for slaves at mental institutions like universities," she said. Bishop called the Ann Arbor School System "excellent" and said the "challenge" today is to maintain this "quality education." He said he would support any and all "needed" programs, and added his educational philosophy is to "get the greatest good for the greatest mumber of children." Warner said the handicap;? ed child should be educated by the unit which can "best and most economically handle the job." He feels "more should be done for those having serious problems with their reading, computation and composition skills." Warner called the part of the proposed school budget which deals with Iearning handicaps a "good expansión to a prograna already started. If we can find ways to realign our spending priorities, we can then devote more to this area." Other meetings for school board candidates to air their views are scheduled for 8 p.m. Wednesday in the Pioneer High School Little Theater (sponsored by the Ann Arbor League of Women Voters), and a 7:20 a.m. meeting June 4, sponsored by the Ann Arbor Area Chamber of Commerce.


Ann Arbor News
Old News