Kent Montgomery filed for a second term on the Brainerd School Board today, saying coming years promise to be pivotal ones for the district.
Montgomery stated healthy communities often have strong education systems, for life-long learning, at their core. And he said the school district is going to need to be creative in making community connections with education in the years to come.
For the past two years, Montgomery, University of Minnesota Extension educator, said he was able to take his classroom and teaching experiences to the board while he gained an insight into the whole education system from transportation to finance. It was an experience he said he enjoyed.
"I have also had the opportunity to see the challenges that face our education system," Montgomery stated. "It is for this reason that I am again filing for a position on the school board."
Montgomery said it was interesting to have an overall perspective where changes of one detail created waves in other areas of the education system.
Challenges ahead include looking at funding and the operating referendum. The operating referendum, which will go to voters in November, will request $195 per pupil unit that would generate about $1.6 million per year for the school district. Of this amount, 47 percent would be funded by the state. Montgomery said he was in favor of the referendum.
He said secondary vocational education funding has also been under fire and may not see as much support in the future from the Legislature. Vocational training has been an important asset to residents, students and the business community, Montgomery said.
"It's going to be a bit of a challenge to maintain that and it can be a challenge or an opportunity," he said.
Montgomery said he sees the opportunities in creating partnerships with businesses and other school districts to support vocational programs.
"It's going to be an exciting time," he said.
In a prepared statement, Montgomery outlined another key issue in technology.
"We must find ways to partner our schools with the community and take advantage of new technology to find better and more efficient ways of educating our students," he said.
Today, Montgomery said technology in the classroom needs to be seamless and incorporated into subjects and not a separate segment of the school day. Another challenge is finding ways to use technology to link schools and homes in what Montgomery says is a way to take education from an 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. classroom experience right into home living rooms.
Those interested in filing for school board candidacy may do so until Tuesday. There is a $2 filing fee. The general election will be Nov. 6.
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