School Board Q&A: Businessman Price: Students needs are top priorityPublished 5:54am Monday, August 13, 2012
School Board Q&A: David Price, running for Austin Public Schools Board
Q: Why are you best qualified to represent Austin on the School Board?
A: In all honestly I don’t know enough about everyone else that is running to try to say whether or not I am the best qualified. I do know that my background in technology, both as a technician for a large company and being the sole technician of my own company, would give me an edge when it comes time to make decisions on the district’s technology needs. On top of that, when running a small business I have been in situations when I have been forced to make difficult financial decisions and I try to do so by looking at how that decision would impact finances long-term: focusing on short-term benefits tends to distort the long-term effects of such decisions.
Q: Board members may be asked over the next few years to make budget cuts. What initiatives or programs would you cut? What do you consider too important to cut?
A: Excellent question. While I have read through many of the meeting minutes on-line, I still need to develop a better understanding of the district’s financial needs before I could be fully confident in my answer. For starters, I would encourage voters to understand the significance of bills such as HF 1870 and the potential positive impact on schools and most importantly, teacher performance. What is too important to cut? I don’t have one specific answer for that question. Let me just say that the student’s educational needs are top priority and that those of us involved work for the benefit of the kids first and foremost.
Q: What technological advancements do Austin Public Schools need to make?
A: Infrastructure: With a solid foundation, adapting to new technologies can be streamlined and cost-effective down the road. This includes up-to-date wired and wireless networks, temperature controlled and physically secure data centers, and so on. However, it is easy to say “This is what you need,” but keeping it in and/or under budget can be rather difficult.
Q: Sumner Elementary School is in the second year of its year-round, 45/15 schedule. If Sumner students show gains in state comprehensive testing scores, should 45/15 be adopted district-wide?
A: This is a question that would require feedback from the parents of children in question. For years and years parents could rely on kids being in school from fall through spring, so this new schedule would definitely throw a wrench in a lot of plans. If overall student performance continues to increase then parents might be more inclined to sacrifice their schedules for the improved education of their children.
Q: What programs, initiatives or class would you like to see added to the district?
A: I would like to see increased physical activity options and classes for kids of all ages. Recess just isn’t enough anymore. The positive correlation between exercise and academic performance has been researched and a simple Google search will provide numerous results. Programs such as Crossfit for Kids are specifically designed to address this need and could provide a huge benefit for students.