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Charles H. Ballard

School board candidate; current East Penn School Board President

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  • Age: 64
  • Residence: Upper Milford Township
  • Do you have children in the district? My two children graduated from Emmaus High School.
  • Politics:  I am a registered Republican
  • What experience do you have?  I have 15 years experience on the Board.

 

1.    What motivates you to want to become a board member?

I became a board member because I am strongly committed to public education as the key to having a working representative democracy.  When I saw challenges to public education from outside forces looking for cheap and easy solutions to complex problems, I had to act.

2.    What do you see as the board’s roles and responsibilities?

The board's role is to provide oversight of the management of the district, policy direction, and to represent the entire spectrum of public concerns about the role and duties of public schools.  We have to ensure that students, parents, teachers and taxpayers all are treated as fairly as we can in the process of trying to provide a thorough and effective system of public education in the District.

3.    What is your vision for education in this community?

My vision is that we need to maintain the high quality and value of an East Penn education, while at the same time being stewards of the public money being spent to provide that high quality education.

4.    What do you see as the primary work of the board?

The primary work of the board is to understand all of the factors necessary in a complex legal, political and educational environment in order to make good decisions in order to direct the administration in implementing the educational program.  This takes a considerable amount of time outside of the board room.  The problems in education cannot be solved with sound bytes and slogans.

5.    What are the current challenges facing education/school boards?

The current economic conditions are straining all levels of government.  Finding ways to do more with less and deal with unfunded mandates from the state and federal government are serious problems in this environment.  The economic environment is also encouraging more attacks on public education, like voucher proposals, that have little or no educational value but high ideological appeal.

6.    Would you support a tax increase?

I don't like to raise my own taxes, but if there is no other way to do the job mandated by the legislature, I will raise taxes appropriately.  I am firmly against the state government foisting off tax increases on local taxpayers by such mechanisms as unfunded mandates, or budget proposals that 'cut' state spending for items that cannot be legally reduced, by putting them on the backs of local school districts (Social Security Tax sharing, Payments to Charter Schools are two examples)

7.    Can you think of any district expenses that should be cut?

Local taxpayers should not have to pay for Charter Schools or Cyber Charter Schools.  Having the state pay for those would reduce taxes in East Penn by at least 3 mils.  We should look for cost savings wherever we can in our operations, and continually review every program for cost effectiveness.

8.    Do you support merit pay for teachers?

The question is, whose 'merit' would you use to judge who would 'merit' additional pay?  If there was a system proposed that was fair to all constituents (parents, students, teachers and taxpayers), used measures of improvement instead of standard test scores alone, and accounted for variations in performance of different groups of students in any teacher's classroom from year to year, I could support a system of merit pay.

9.    Are you in favor of the Governor’s school voucher proposal?

NO.  On a level playing field, I will put the East Penn School District up against any district in the country.  It is not a level playing field when schools receiving vouchers do not have to meet the same rules and regulations public schools do, do not have to account for their use of taxpayer money, do not have to take the same achievement tests the public schools do so parents and taxpayers can compare performance, and do not have to accept any and all students that come to their door. (As in the Governor’s proposal.) {Note technically it is Sen. Piccolla's proposal that the Governor appears to endorse}

10. How do you think Gov.Corbett’s proposed budget will affect East Penn?

Governor Corbett's budget will cost East Penn, just from the cuts in Social Security tax-sharing and charter school reimbursements, nearly a million dollars.  It unfairly continues the legislative practice of saying 'I didn't raise your taxes” and then sending subsidy cuts and unfunded mandates down to the school board that forces them to have to raise local taxes instead.  The state 'share' of education has gone down from 50% in the 70's to less than 20% in East Penn today because of these deceptive practices.  Legislators point to the fact that educational spending has gone up, they just forget to mention that it didn't go up as fast as cost increases and inflation.

 

  • Do you have a social media page, such as a Facebook account? I am on LinkedIn.
  • Do you tweet? NO

 

         East Penn School Board Candidates

        Republican         Democrat

Samuel Rhodes

Scott Aquila Charles H. Ballard Julian Stolz

Fawn Strunk
*Declined to Participate

Charles H. Ballard

Phillip Garrett Rhoades
*Declined to Participate

Kenneth Bacher Brian Higggins Jennifer Gilbert Scott Aquila Brian Higggins Jennifer Gilbert Waldemar R. Vinovskis Waldemar R. Vinovskis Fawn Strunk
*Declined to Participate Julian Stolz John F. Belin Lynn Donches Samuel Rhodes Kenneth Bacher Lynn Donches
Mom2Boys April 13, 2011 at 11:54 PM
Thank you for your many years of service and for keeping what is best for the students at the heart of your decisions!
Rob Hamill November 03, 2011 at 06:47 PM
Hey Chuck, Now do you remember the money and illegal union support that you received in 1991? Funny how you have never changed.

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