2013.05.30 Russ Davis: Ideas offered for school's money woes

Written by David Green.


So after reading in the past few weeks of the money shortfalls of the Morenci School District, I have a few suggestions on the topic along with a few other ideas.

  WARNING! These ideas are probably going to be considered far fetched by most people, but here they are.

(1) Bring back a “shop class.” (Oh, I can hear it now, “What? Expose my child to power tools, welders, torches, hammers, etc.? They could get hurt!” Yeah, no kidding. If they don’t observe proper safety precautions or the instructions of the teacher, that’s a good possibility.)

(2) Use students from above mentioned shop class to assist in the repairs needed at the various school buildings and to rebuild buses instead of buying new.

(3) Install “peaked” roofs on the buildings which have flat roofs and use metal as the exposed roof surface. Again using students from the shop class. (When the new Middle School was being planned out I suggested this same idea. The answer I received was there would be some non-flat roof surfaces but a concern for a metal covered peaked roof is ice and/or snow could suddenly slide off the roof injuring a student. Huh, I guess kids aren’t taught about gravity or melting ice or snow any more). 

(4) Disband the “Drama Club.” I think there’s enough “drama” in school already. (This in turn, would open up the old shop class room.)

(5) Investigate the possibility of removing Morenci Schools from “No Child Left Behind”. (Start teaching students basic knowledge skills instead of prepping for the test(s). Ask any of them to make change without a calculator, you may be surprised at the success rate, or lack thereof.)

(6) Bring back “Home Ec”. (The last I knew, everyone eats at least sometime in their life. I think this should be a mandatory class, along with shop.)

(7) Eliminate “out of school” suspensions. (Has anyone ever thought maybe some kids consider it a “win” when they are kicked out of school for 3 to 10 days. Instead of “rewarding” them, put them to work. Hand them a pair of hand clippers so they can go out and trim around the buildings, or a paint brush to paint the bleachers, rooms, etc. In the winter, hand them a shovel to clear the sidewalks. I would wager this would stop at least some of the rule breaking.)

(8) Base teacher’s pay on performance. If a child can’t read, write, or do simple math by the second grade, there may be problem. If they can’t read their diploma, there’s a definite problem.

(9) With the onset of child obesity, allow the students to roam the halls and go outside during lunch break. Any exercise is better than none. Plus it may help cut down on any possible fights in the school due to energy being “burned off”.

As I warned at the beginning of this letter, there are going to be people who think these are far fetched ideas. But the last I knew I still have a right to express my opinion no matter how off the wall it may sound to some.

– Russell Davis

Weston Road, Morenci 


  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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