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School board needs to focus on budget, accountability, communication

Hello, my name is Ron Parton. I am a candidate for the WLWV School Board, Position 5. by: SUBMITTED - Ron Parton

My wife, Sharon, and I have lived in West Linn for 15 years and enjoy the community very much. We are grandparents and very involved with our four grandchildren’s development. Their excitement through the stages of early learning is intriguing.

Today, there are more opportunities available for learning than ever before. Our schools need to embrace those that work well for our children.

I served on the budget committee and then city council when Tualatin was the fastest growing city in Oregon. It instilled some valuable fundamentals about contributing back to the community.

We are fortunate that WLWV is one of the most desirable school districts in the state and has the valuable support of the citizens with a strong interest in the educational process. Many districts do not and struggle with some of the basic aspects of keeping their districts viable.

While we have such a strong educational system and depth of resources, we need to constantly assess and determine the proper course with a focus on continuous improvements.

Our children must have positive role models. They require foundational values to aspire to. They need a roadmap from parents, teachers and a solid educational environment. A school board needs to focus on the ABCs, (accountability, budget and communication).

Accountability is required to ensure that the best education possible is available to the students. This focus ensures that the resources provided reach the levels intended (the students and their classrooms). At times, unfortunately, this is not the case and even the best intentions do not have the results expected.

We have good metrics, we need to continue to achieve the best possible results. A good measure is the graduation percentage. WLWV has a good percentage.

Why is this important to the community? Studies show that young people who don’t get a diploma are about twice as likely to be unemployed, four times as likely to be imprisoned and almost twice as likely to rely on government subsidies as those with a high school education. It is an impact across the community. What is an acceptable metric in this area? What can it be?

With a budget, a solid fiscal conservative posture is a must. Any agency seeking funding is certainly in for a wild ride. Positive citizen support has limits; we are rapidly heading for these limits. There needs to be realistic and open dialogue to address everyone’s financial needs. All parties must come to the party.

All budget issues need to be balanced with the question: “How does this allow us to reach our goal in the classroom?” This is no revelation, just common sense.

Reality is, we cannot continue to spend more and more money on the educational model and expect it to be effective. The U.S. spends an average of $14,000 per student. What is enough?

Communication is very critical. The more critical the issues needing attention and understanding, the more effective communication needs to be. Solid information clearly communicated can assist everyone in understanding decisions, policies and processes. Unfortunately, sometimes the level of communication is insufficient to allow clear understanding. Please allow me to contribute to our community and provide experienced analysis, process orientation and leadership toward educational excellence and solid foundation for our greatest assets — our children!

Feel free to contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Ron Parton is a West Linn resident and is running for school board.




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