Saturday, 9 April 2011


I was at the Helena School District union negotiations this Friday (collective bargaining). After a very complete presentation of a history of premium increases on our health plan which showed that they have gone up almost every year since the plans inception in 1994 and have never gone down- a 101% increase with a projected 5% increase this year- our board chair said he was hopeful that because of our wellness program premiums would go down in the next two years.

We've had a wellness program since the program started. If wellness has never made premiums go down in 17 years why would he think it would make them go down now? It's those old rose colored glasses.

Maybe that's why one of our incumbent board members is running for reelection on success in our schools while under her watch our dropout rates have soared to 22% at Capital High School and 25% at Helena High School, well above the state average of 18%, and the State Office of Public Instruction ranks our middle schools almost dead last in AA districts(again, thank goodness for Great Falls).  It also ranks Capital High 8th out of 13 AA districts and Helena High 11th. Meanwhile we're below state average in Math at every grade level.

It must take some great rose colored glasses to see that as success. I think it's time to vote in a new school board, Helena can do much better than this!

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