The District 26 Parents with A Voice facebook group has been a tool for parents, teachers and community members to voice their concerns with the district.
The facebook group has over 600 members.
The group has held meetings discussing Cary School District 26 issues.
On Monday, Aug. 29 the group launched a 'D-26 Vote of No Confidence against the Cary School District 26 School Board'.
Local editor Quincy Hodges sat down with Ken Hillman, who is one of the leaders of the District 26 Parents with A Voice group, for a Q&A session about why the group started the petition.
Why is your group launching the No Confidence petition?
Ken Hillman: We made the decision to launch the petition of No Confidence based upon the fact that we were still not getting our concerns addressed. We made our list of demands and list of concerns and tried to put it in way the board could understand the three key issues.
1. We felt the negotiations process wasn’t handled well.
2. We felt that district polices were continually being ignored
3. A general lack of transparency in the financial numbers.
There was no movement on those three issues, as a group, we felt with a looming deadline of school starting, the possibility of a strike, rancorous relations, that we had to take steps to protect our children and the educational process in Cary.
What is the goal of the petition, what does your group want to accomplish?
Ken Hillman: The outcome we want is ‘better schools, for a better Cary. We want the schools to get better, we want the education to improve, we want the financials to become improved and we want a greater transparency.
As a community, we believe we have woken up, we have been a part of the problem and that’s no longer the case.
So now we are looking at areas, we believe that need to be addressed.
How many signatures have you gathered?
Ken Hillman: 10 to 15 people have hard copy petitions and electronically, the group has over 100 petitions.
We’re Hoping to get close to 500 signatures, which given the perceived negativity of the petition of No Confidence would be extremely high.
This is not just people saying I disagree; this is people saying there’s a real issue here. I would even having, in an off-election year, a 100 people, is a lot people to say I have no confidence in what the board is doing.
Once you gather your signatures, do you plan to present the results to the Board of Education?
Ken Hillman: We would present it to the board. We would present it to the media and we would present it to the state.
Some critics and outsiders see your group as a small group of parents, who are angry with the board and picking on the board, what is your response to that feedback?
Ken Hillman: We’ve had discussions as a group, regarding reactions to what we’re doing. And, is there a negativity involved in it? Yes, absolutely.
There’s negativity because we’re bringing up issues that are not happy issues.
There are not issues that anyone wants to deal with but there are issues regarding educating our kids, the spending of our tax money and the health and safety of our kids.
So, if you look at, the growth as a percentage of administrative spending and the decline of instructional spending, that’s a real negative, we’re trying to address and often times, you shoot the messenger.
Are there people that feel that its need to have a positive spin? Yes.
Are there people who feel like we’re nitpicking? Maybe.
Are there people who just don’t like change and want to support what’s going on and hope everything gets better on its’ own? Sure.
Change is hard. Its’ hard to get people to understand what’s going on.