Bill Hayner Candidate Questionnaire 2017

1. What are the biggest challenges to the success of our ongoing school building and renovation projects, and are these projects effectively addressing our enrollment growth?

I believe the biggest challenge is keeping the public involved and engaged with information so that when we have to come to them for the money they know what they are paying for. Engagement means more than having a committee. It is my hope that the Superintendent continues to use her monthly letter to update the public on all of the projects. I also think that there should be periodic forums with all stake holders for a QA.

It is difficult to answer the enrollment growth question. Measure twice before cutting is very appropriate. If the projections we have been presented with and hold into for the next 10 years then I believe we are on a good path with our building projects.

2. For FY18 there were a number of requests from teachers and administrators that were not funded because of budget constraints. Which unfunded request do you consider the most critical, and how should we address the resulting issues and any future issues?

Respectfully, I disagree with my colleagues on approaching the budget that we send to Town Meeting. It has always been my belief that we should present the Town Meeting with a budget that reflects what the teachers and the administration have asked for, keeping in mind, that it is not a free check but sound educational programs and staff requests. Then let the Town Meeting modify the budget to meet the fiscal limits of the town. This is philosophical, not reality.

The most critical unfunded request is to provide full time TA in each kindergarten. Kindergarten is the place where the prescription for the education of the child should be written. The only way this can be done is if the teacher can assess each child individually and this can only be done with a full time TA.

The other issue that has not been addressed in our budget has been the school libraries. But for the PTO’s, we would not have any books.

Outside of getting a magical benefactor who will give the town a billion dollars, we will have to raise taxes. We have already relegated funding for field trips and many other functions to the school PTO’s.

3. Which curriculum improvement has had the most meaningful effect on our students during your time as a School Committee member, and if you could introduce one innovation into the curriculum at any level, what would it be?

I think the early release at the elementary level has allowed teachers to interact and share curricula in a meaningful way. I have heard from teachers and administrators it is great.

Thinking out of the box, I would like to engage seniors and other members of the community to work with staff at the high school to show real life applications of the courses the students are taking. Have a business person come into and share with a writing class the importance of written communication. Another example would be to have a dentist come in and explains the value of chemistry.

4. According to the state’s diversity report, released in October, 75% of Arlington’s students are white and 84% of the staff is white. What steps do you plan to take in your next term toward closing this gap?

This is an issue for all school systems in the state but that does not mean we should just accept it. The hiring authority rests with the superintendent who must be the leader. In the past, we have been involved in a program call Today’s Students Tomorrow’s Teachers (TSTT). The idea of the program is to pair minority students with a teacher during high school. Students on graduation from high school are recommended to colleges in the program who financially assist them through colleges.
We need to do more! We need to open to the public all positions at all levels and extend our searches nationally through electronic media.

5. Is there anything else you would like us to know? Please include a Facebook page or website that you have for your campaign.

This is a special year in that there are no contested seats. I have a web page billhayner.org where you can find all the information regarding my background.
I have deactivated several pages that would be used to solicit funds and endorsements.