Allen D. Douglass (Taxpayer Friendly)

Watchdog Lebanon Home Page Elizabeth Padgett (Liz) Keith LCSC Board of Trustees Candidate Rating Web Page

Address: 3250 S 800 E, Zionsville 46077 
Phone: (317) 289-8105

Watchdog Indiana Lebanon Community School Corporation Board of Trustees Candidate Questions - 2014 General Election

1. Do you anticipate the need for holding a referendum to pass a property tax levy outside the property tax caps for school operating expenses before 2019? ANSWER: No. 

2. Will you support new capital project bond issues before 2019? ANSWER: Possibly. The only new capital project that I will support would be one that would pay for itself. For example, if we were to explore a partnership to build a natural gas fired electric generation facility that would reduce the overall corporation energy expense and increase the ability to manage cost exposure, I would be supportive. However, I will not be supportive of borrowing money for cosmetic improvements.

3. Do you believe more Lebanon High School graduates should be motivated and prepared to enroll in college? ANSWER: I believe that students should be motivated to achieve to the best of their ability. I believe we have too many students who decide far too early that they are not "college material," and thus do not actively pursue that path.

4. Should more LCSC students be included in the gifted and talented education track? ANSWER: Every child that is able to handle that curriculum should be included.

5. Should more Lebanon High School students earn Core 40 with Honors Diplomas and take Advanced Placement courses so they will need fewer remediation classes in college? ANSWER: I think this dovetails with #3 above. If the students are motivated to achieve more, more kids will take the AP classes, more will seek the Honors Diplomas. This is a chicken and egg scenario.

6. Do you support a joint program between the school corporation and the new Vincennes University Training and Education Center in Lebanon where interested students can earn an associates degree in advanced manufacturing upon graduation from Lebanon High School? ANSWER: Absolutely. Anything that can be done to teach our students skills that allow them to earn a living should be encouraged. Students have different needs. Not all are going to advance to a 4-year university. This center allows our students interested in this path an opportunity to be job ready and attractive to employers upon graduation. I would like to see the Vincennes University opportunity expanded, for example to include Agriculture. Purdue accepts VU Ag students to transfer, and complete their bachelors degree. We could see a partnership where a motivated student could graduate from LHS, and be half way to a Purdue Agriculture degree at the same time.

7. Why is the percentage of LCSC students earning a Pass Plus on the ISTEP Math exams declining a great deal beginning in the sixth grade? ANSWER: As the father of a current 7th grade student, I have seen this issue up front. I believe the math curriculum is weak in LCSC. I have taken to teaching my daughter math from the 3rd grade - and she is now in an advanced class. I am "old school" - and teach her with methods I used when I was her age. The old ways work.

8. How would you improve outcomes on the ISTEP Social Studies exams? ANSWER: The social studies curriculum is terrible as used in LCSC. I refer to it as "Socialist Studies." I am a bit of a radical here. We have to find a way to use testing, but encourage teachers to teach material from a broad base, and to not teach to the test.

9. What should be done to increase the percentage LCSC third grade students passing the Indiana Reading Evaluation And Determination (IREAD-3) assessment without summer remediation? ANSWER: The majority of the issues with low READ-3 scores comes from a single school - Stokes. This is not the school's fault, and it is not an issue with the teachers there. As the district lines are drawn, the majority of the students that come from Lebanon's lower income areas go to Stokes. There, 2/3rds of the students are on free and reduced lunch programs. There is a documented linkage between economic standing and academic achievement. How do we combat this? We must reduce class sizes at HBS Elementary. We must increase community engagement in all schools - PTO needs strengthened, and we need parent volunteers to work one on one with our at risk kids. If we want a better community - we all have to step up.

10. Do you agree with the decision to cut all kindergarten aides at all Lebanon elementary schools this year? ANSWER: NO.

11. What is your occupation and what skills do you have relative to serving as a trustee for the school corporation? ANSWER: I am a commodity broker, and manage the office for INTL-FCStone. I trade commercial grain elevators, large farmers, and consumptive users of grain products. I am a business guy - I control costs, deal with personnel issues, and make decisions on a daily basis. My skill set that is applicable to a school board position would include analytics, risk mitigation, and decision making.

12. What is your educational philosophy relative to the responsibilities of the school board? ANSWER: My personal educational philosophy is for excellence. No excuses, no crutches. There is no way to accomplish great things without hard work and team effort. School board is hard work. The board of trustees sit as guardians of the taxpayers funds, while trying to maximize the results. We have to be diligent on reviewing curriculum, hiring great teachers, and making sure they can be successful.

13. How would you help teachers in the classroom be more effective in their teaching? ANSWER: Increased parent participation. Increased role for PTO's in the corporation. I want to figure out how to pay our great teachers better, and to remove underperforming teachers. If we want to have motivated students, we need to also have motivated teachers.

14. Should users of the Herman B Wells Community Conference Center at Lebanon High School be allowed to serve beer and wine? ORIGINAL 09/24/2014 ANSWER: I have a real conundrum here. The Wells Community Center was an unnecessary expense in the first place. This center was not part of the original project to remodel LHS. I don't think we need a facility that is publicly owned to compete against private businesses. That being said, now we own it - how do we use it. I think alcohol use is OK in the Wells CC as long as it is on days that school is not in session, and all alcohol is removed from the premises. The serving party should have to prove adequate liability coverage, and there should be an additional 10% fee back to the school. UPDATED 10/19/2014 ANSWER: When I answered this question, I first stated that the H.B Wells Community Center should have never been built at the High School in the first place. I do not believe in using taxpayer funds to build competition for private businesses. That said, we have to manage it. I stated that I was in favor of allowing alcohol at the Center. After 4+ weeks of reflective thought - I don't think so. I have done some independent study, and have read a number of opinions on both sides. I can see points from both sides - but today, I am in opposition to alcohol consumption in the H. B Wells Community Center. In the final analysis, it came down to a point of consistency in my mind. We can't have a zero tolerance policy for the students, and allow it for adults. We don't allow the teachers to smoke in the school, or on school property. That said, how many of us would have known the policy was up for a final vote this coming Tuesday, if not for Aaron Smith's work to expose it? The policy is already drafted, and has been voted on once. This vote on 10/21 will make it final - and there has been nothing in the community. This is why the status quo needs challenged. Truth seeks light.

15. Do you wish to make some additional comments about your candidacy? Do you have a campaign phone number and E-mail address? Do you have a website? ANSWER: I can be reached on my cell at 317.289.8105. I will not answer this phone between 7:30 AM and 5 PM weekdays, as I am working. email: I have a Facebook page set up - search for "Allen Douglass for LCSC School Board"

Watchdog Lebanon Home Page Elizabeth Padgett (Liz) Keith LCSC Board of Trustees Candidate Rating Web Page

This page was last updated on 10/20/14.