http://paloaltoonline.com/square/print/index.php?i=3&d=1&t=808


Town Square

Lack of Trust impacts PiE and more

Original post made by alex on Jan 9, 2007

After reading many, maybe all, the posts about MI, my biggest concern is that something about the way the MI has been introduced to the greater PAUSD community is creating a wedge of distrust between the greater parent base and the district. Our fabulous (though not quite perfect) schools work because our parents are committed to making them work. When that committment is tainted with distrust -- Houston...we have a problem. Can we heal this breach?

Comments

Posted by Anna, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 10, 2007 at 8:06 am

I am a long time supporter and leader of fundraising causes in PAUSD (remember PAFE?!) I am no longer involved in fundraising efforts but always support PiE and my child's PTA. Why? Because both organizations have proven to be valuable assets to our schools - even during times of leadership crisis. This year's trust issues have been serious and unfortunate. But principals have a track record of using our donated funds in wise ways. I encourage all donors and parents to take an interest in how PiE and PTA allocate funds - they will be impressed.


Posted by Board Observer, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 10, 2007 at 12:51 pm

Trust is a critical component for the community's ability to continue to give charitably to the schools - through any channel, be it through PIE, PTA, votes for supplemental parcel tax, votes for bonds, volunteerism on community task forces, on and on and on.

(How many people in this debate have said, wait a sec, I spent HOURS on the strategic priority process, and now you're ignoring it. Or I spent HOURS on the AAAG process, and now your circumventing it. How many of those people would be likely to re enlist next time?)

Every individual can't see and know everything about everything that goes on the school district - in the deepest darkest corners of 25 Churchill, it comes down to a matter of trust.

In fact, much of the statements in the feasibility study were made on the assumption of trust - "trust us (Sr Staff) that we did a thorough job of studying this, and here's an executive summary of the result". Which is probably exactly why much of the community couldn't swallow most of it. The community said, "No, actually, we don't trust that you studied it, show us the proof." How disfunctional! What a disaster!

If nothing else is learned from the last several weeks and months, I hope the message is loud and clear that when public trust in their representatives fails, so does the institution. Its all based on a public handshake.

And the people just won't give their money if they can't trust the people they're giving it to, but it looks like hopefully this time, for this issue, it won't come down to that.