Louis "Al" Scarpellini: Candidate for JCPS Board - District 3

Louis "Al" Scarpellini: Candidate for JCPS Board - District 3

1. What is the biggest issue facing JCPS? Is it a district trending in the right direction, wrong direction, or stagnant?

The largest issue facing our schools is managing the pace of change. This means evaluations, new programs and their impact on students and, not losing the goals of education that make meaningful impact on the future of our society and lives of our children. Why not look at our successful schools and use proven models that we already have in place? The need for more traditional schools has long be documented with students that are turned away.

2. How are you best qualified to make decisions for district with more than 100,000 students?

My professional background stressed planning and budgeting. Education includes - BA Social Studies from Kent State University, Master's from Bowling Green U, Ohio and Doctorate in Government and Public Administration from Lehigh U. As a Federal Government manager, I supervised a staff, reviewed and implemented programs and reviewed audits. For the past 15 years I developed, chaired, and taught the Fire Science Program at Vincennes U. I experienced firsthand the need for school to work readiness as a professor.

3. What is your position on state Auditor Adam Edelen's recent assertion that JCPS is a top-heavy district with too many highly-paid administrators? What, if anything, would you do to address this?

The Auditor's Report should be a learning tool. We spend money without desired results. Until the needs of students are met, possibly all administrators need to be in school buildings. Their performance should be linked with the students' achievement (true stake holders). Spending one or two days of every week working directly with students, using their educational know-how will help develop a firsthand understanding of students' needs. This could help justify their salaries.

4. What is your position on Edelen's assertion that the school board didn't properly understand the district's budget before voting on it? What, if anything, would you do to address this?

Since the budget is large and complicated, a mandatory, public, overview and question and answer session should be provided for all board members. Then, clarification and understanding could be provided to all board members and interested citizens. The public format would insure public recognition that the board members understood and were informed leaders of the school district.

5. The school board recently voted to approve a budget that held property taxes flat. Do you support that decision, or would you have voted to decrease or increase property taxes? Depending on your decision, what would you propose to cut, or what would you propose to spend the addition money on?

Education is a resource intensive undertaking. I feel validated need must be shown to increase taxes. I would support looking at student progress in classrooms, looking to help students fully understand our democratic system, physical education efforts and other factors before asking for increase in taxes. If an increase in pay is merited, then the bulk of the raises should go to support staff and teachers. Administrative positions should be tied to actual progress, with some administrative personnel being returned to the classroom.