School Board Q&A: Lifetime Austin resident Tabor hopes to avoid cutsPublished 5:57am Monday, August 13, 2012
School Board Q&A: Matt Tabor, running for Austin Public Schools Board
Q: Why are you best qualified to represent Austin on the School Board?
A: I’m probably not. I do not have a fancy degree, but I was born and raised in this town and graduated here. I’ve lived my whole life in Austin and will have my own children in this district for the next 18 years. My hope is to provide the very best in educational opportunities for our youth for generations to come.
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: I’d hate to see any cuts at all. With that being said I would hate to see any cuts to physical education and academic programs. Music, the arts, and gym are usually the first things on the chopping block. This is not right. We all know that testing is focused on math, reading and science. But we must also make sure that our children have all the necessary skills to thrive in life and the programs that are often cut first have just as big a role in teaching those life skills as do our core academics. I think it is time we look to the top and look at administrative costs.
Q: What technological advancements do Austin Public Schools need to make?
A: Wireless technology being implemented district wide was a big step forward. I believe that more computers are needed in the classrooms, especially at the elementary level. With all the testing that takes place now, most of it done on computers, lab time is a priority for students. I do not think there is a need for every student to have their own tablet or laptop, but more access to computers is a must.
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: If test scores continue to grow as a whole for Sumner then I guess it’s something that will need some serious debate. However, I am not a fan. For some parents finding daycare for that schedule can be almost impossible, and family vacations can become a real juggling act. The real goal here is to get parents more involved in their children’s education, not make harder for them to find the time to get involved.
Q: What programs, initiatives or class would you like to see added to the district?
A: I think more computer related classes would be a huge benefit to the lower grade levels. With lab time being such a priority, it does not do our children any good if they do not know how to type and/or use a computer efficiently. Physical education and good nutritional programs are a must. The relationship the district has with Riverland and college related/credit courses is a great thing and needs to continue.