TED Conversations

Randy Speck

Superintendent , Madison District Public Schools

This conversation is closed.

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?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Nov 5 2012: I appreciate everyone's comments because they somewhat play into what has happened on the East Coast of the United States. Hurricane Sandy comes rolling through and completely disrupts life as people...families...schools know it. Now they begin the process of re-building. People will be (and have been) giving to these communities, but like in a lot of things, the infrastructure isn't in place to provide quick relief. Government agencies such as FEMA and other non-profits spring into action and in most cases do a great job (non-profits move quicker...not as much bureaucracy). But I wonder, if the foundation of a school community was different, could relief come faster. If each school/school district acted as a hub that was connected to the needs of the community in a way that was different than local city councils. Schools know the needs of students and families...that could be leveraged to service the needs of families much faster.
    • thumb
      Nov 5 2012: Without genuinely defining the problem that would be a waste of time and money.
      • thumb
        Nov 5 2012: Pat,

        Do you think there is a root cause to a problem? I sometimes think problems are not that complicated, however the human element adds complexities.

        • thumb
          Nov 5 2012: I always think that problems are not that complicated.

          But if you listened to the politicians, unions, crony capitalists the problems are insurmountable.

          Of course they are not, which is why defining them is paramount. As then you can come up with a plan.

          The question is do really want to serve your students or just build your empire, do you really care about them or your personal agenda?

          You may take offense to my question in which case you answered my question.
    • thumb
      Nov 5 2012: Randy, I see a problem that you are attempting to seperate the schools from government .... they are not and are becoming more legislated every year. Further, if Secretary of Education Arne Duncan gets his way the schools will all be under federal control.

      Be aware the the White House Rural Sustainability Act includes schools .. as one of the 25 major agencies assigned to run it is the department of Education ... this is a extention of United Nations Acticle 21.

      Just being a devils advocate to the above. Bob.
    • thumb
      Nov 6 2012: Randy, I am very interested in hearing your summary of this conversation.

      I wish you the best in your effort.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.