District 834 Q&A: Amy BurbackDistrict 834 School Board candidate Amy Burback's responses to a Q&A.
Name: Amy Burback
Education: Bachelor of arts from Marquette University; master of arts in political science from Marquette University
Occupation: Recruitment and admissions at the School of Divinity with the St. Paul Seminary at the University of St. Thomas.
Family: Husband, Scott; children, Alexander and Allen-Michael
Civic involvement: Congressional intern in Washington, D.C.; University of Minnesota master gardener in Washington County; active school volunteer with Stonebridge Elementary; Junior Master Gardener coordinator
The Bulletin asked District 834 School Board candidates the following questions:
1. What do you see as the major issues facing District 834?
2. If the district should find itself in another budget deficit, would you be in favor of going out for a levy referendum? If not, what would you cut?
3. How can the district incorporate technology into the classroom?
1. The primary challenges facing Stillwater schools continue to be based on state-based education funding and the expiration of the current referendum levy. There was not enough support to pass the last levy request. That was partially due to the lack of public attention given to the effort. The district needs to actively enlist the support of taxpayers to support a levy effort. We can do that through a pro-active approach engaging a variety of organizations to inform all voters on the specifics of the levy. Those discussions must take into account concerns of the taxpayers regarding the rising property taxes.
2. If, as a district, we cannot pass a renewal of the current referendum levy in 2013, the School Board faces a projected $10 million budget deficit for the 2014-15 school year. I am in favor of placing a levy on the ballot to prevent that from occurring. In doing so I would also be committed to a visible, strong campaign for the purpose of communicating, informing, discussing and gaining the voters trust on this issue so we can come to a consensus on what the district is asking voters to approve. Consensus may mean compromise from all parties.
3. The district should continue to identify opportunities where incorporating technology enhances the academic goals of individual courses. Our approach in the classroom needs to incorporate that technology into learning in a way that prepares students for how they will employ that same technology and its capabilities beyond the classroom, particularly in the workplace. As the district identifies these opportunities the most critical factor for the board to consider is whether or not an investment in technology in the classroom can be sustained. It is not progress if introducing technology is temporary or will become outdated because of budget constraints.
Amy Burback is the challenger for the District 834 School Board race.