It's a cliché, sure, but why is the concept of "the customer is always right" so popular? Well, it's indicative of a theory that encourages the best outcome for repeat business. Anyone who works or has worked in the service industry can attest, it’s a difficult hat to wear. Especially, when said customer is not always in the rational sense “right”. Still, when people can take their dollars elsewhere, businesses want to ensure customer satisfaction. It is a fine line.
A survey titled “Next Steps” has been live at my candidate site since December that gives opportunity for anonymous feedback on district decisions. What is the current satisfaction rating of our district?
Thus far, the respondents of my "next steps" survey give a 86% disapproval rating of district decisions.
If students, parents, and taxpayers are the "customers", where may they opt to take their education "dollars"? At best, they can put them into local non-public education. At worst, taxpayers (a.k.a. "customers") will leave the state and leave communities in Illinois looking like Detroit. The student enrollment at Detroit's public schools drastically declined to 52,981 in 2012 from 164,496 in 2002. A sure fire way of going from a prosperous community to a distressed one is to upset the incentive for taxpayers to stay and continue funding a failing system.
Illinois is facing mounting debt, an exodus of taxpayers, and undesirable conditions for business growth. The "customers" that fund Indian Prairie School District 204 are extremely disappointed. The issues of district funding at the state and federal levels are important but if property values decrease and people continue to be disillusioned with district decisions, it will impact the employment of district staff, the quality of education that taxpayers expect, and the reputation of our community as desirable.
The platitudes from last nights board meeting filled nearly 3 hours time along with a financial report that shows money continues to be tight.
Long story short, everyone and everything has wronged district leadership:
Governor Pritzker (Who hasn’t he wronged?)
Local, state, and national health departments
Vaccination disbursement (Another check in the “Illinois Ineptitude” column)
Wait, who is really being wronged in all of this?
The six-year-old girl who we heard in tears.
The poised high school student who stood before the community asking for more than two in-person days and wishing for less screen time.
That isn’t even scratching the surface. Our students deserve more than platitudes.
What would make our district go from majority disapproval to a majority approval rating? Share your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.