TED Conversations

Randy Speck

Superintendent , Madison District Public Schools

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Debate: Should public schools take on the responsibility for offering basic needs like food and health care to students and families?

Schools may no longer be just a place for parents to drop their kids off for six and a half hours each day. Due to various socio-economics, schools increasingly find themselves in a new place of influence. The impact of that influence could have a major impact on communities. Schools have access to be able to provide three meals a day through various breakfast, lunch and dinner programs. Schools have access to healthcare through School Based Health Centers to be able to provide services to students, their families and the community. However, the debate is...should schools have this responsibility?


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    Oct 29 2012: Randy. Would this not be a case of treating the symthoms while the desease goes rolling merrily along. Since 85% are eligable for free meals they are also on welfare and have medical, etc ... You offer nothing they do not already have. They have housing, food stamps, medical, etc .. You only offer to centeralize the services they have available. I have seen this from my youth as a orphan put into a home and then a institution. The environment never changed. I used the system and abused it as much as possible and complained about it all the time it gave to me.

    Randy you are a good guy and you mean well but this will not re-juvinate a community. Some will always make it out and other will always remain. Thats just the way it is.

    I wish you well. Bob.
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      Oct 29 2012: "Randy you are a good guy and you mean well but this will not re-juvinate a community"

      So, am I to then give up and not try. yes, the idea of centralizing is in many ways what I ma talking about and Yes, I believe and know that some will misuse and abuse, but how I can sit by and not work in some way to disrupt the system and cycle. It may be case of treating the symptoms and to get at the root cause of the disease, it will take more than me and my "good guyness" (thanks for the compliment :). I'm still trying to formulate the "getting to the root cause" part...that's where my idealism can both be helpful and an obstacle.
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        Oct 29 2012: Heck no do not quit. In my last three jobs I was the devils advocate to almost all plans as my way of supporting the effort. I would not be a good TED friend if all I ever did was to agree. By pointing out UN Article 21 and the White House Rural Sustainability (environmental) Executive Order that has 25 major agencies including Education dedicated to it I have provided you with information and tools that would dove tail with your community concept. In the same reply I admonish you to be aware that these are designed to eliminate private property and limit rights. These programs are extremely aimed at socialism, big government, and the elimination of states rights.

        When Roman conquorers returned they were given a parade for all to see the glory of Rome. Beside him in the carrage was a person who whispered in his ear the dangers and that fame was fleeting.

        Some victories are shallow and the results not as sweet as hoped to be.

        The 16 year old on Oprha who was the family bread winner ... she had three babies. Welfare gave her a home, food stamps, WICK, transportation, and a stipend of 1600 per month per child.
        Just add your house payment, monthly food bill, all baby supplys to 4800 and then times that by 12 and you get her annual non taxabe wage. Rent 1000, food 800, baby goods 300, plus 4800 = 6900 X 12 = 82,800 a year. Not a bad salary. If she marries or goes to work she would lose all of this. So why would she.

        Good luck in your efforts.

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          Oct 30 2012: Bob...good stuff. I appreciate all of your thoughts.

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