Andy Thomas' record on the school board
Responsible financial stewardship
Employee Contracts: I voted in favor of revised contracts with teachers, administrators and office professionals which reduced costs by over $5 million.
Superintendent's Salary: I voted against a $65,000 increase in salary for a new AAPS superintendent. I did this for two reasons:
- the process used by the District's consultants to establish a salary comparable to similar districts was flawed, and
- a salary increase of this size would send the wrong message to our employees who have made significant wage and benefit concessions.
Special Education Millage Renewal: I strongly supported the millage renewal and contributed both financially and with my time.
Putting a priority on students
Principal Sharing: I urged my fellow trustees to drop the proposal to share principals among four of our elementary schools. While this idea may be worth pursuing district-wide at some future time, I saw no reasonable justification for singling out these four schools (which included two of the most disadvantaged schools in our district).
High School Bus Transportation: I argued for the continuation of high school bus transportation on a reduced scale which would result in significant cost savings ($1.1 million). I also supported a budget amendment that restored $300,000 of funding to permit additional stops for outlying areas not included in the original proposal.
Athletic Budget: I voted for a budget which included a reduction of $475,000 for athletics. Upon hearing the details of how this reduction would be accomplished, I urged administration to re-think its plan and work with the community to come up with something better.
Leadership and accountability
Superintendent Search: I enthusiastically supported the hiring of Dr. Patricia Green as our new superintendent. I believe the search process was both fair and effective, and led to the identification of three extremely well-qualified finalists. Dr. Green stood out as the best of the best, and I believe she will do an outstanding job for us.
Haisley Parking Lot: I insisted on a full and open discussion of the various aspects of this controversial project. After hearing from individuals on both sides of the issue, and after questioning administration at length regarding the many safety issues involved, I voted in favor of the project because I felt it provides the best combination of safety and utility.
Board of Education Secretary: I have responded to hundreds of e-mails and letters on behalf of the Board. My goal is to acknowledge any correspondence within 24 hours, and to respond personally and in a meaningful way. You may or may not agree with the position I express, but you will receive a thoughtful, detailed response.