Friday, April 14, 2017

Soul Force Interview

Even after researching the Kansas School funding cuts, I still had some questions that needed to be answered. These questions were: Have the school districts in Kansas lost anything as a result of these cuts such as programs or amenities? If so, what have they lost? Which school districts have been hurt the hardest? After the promising tax reform bill that passed the Kansas House was vetoed, do you think there is a promising future ahead for the schools and their funding?

Credibility

The person I decided to interview to answer my questions was Ms. Deedy of Game On for Kansas Schools. Ms. Deedy is one of the founders and leaders of Game On and I thought that she would be one of the most reliable sources that I could contact. One reason that this group is reliable is because it is made up of people that are just like us, parents that care for the future of their students education. this group began to contact their representatives and to spread awareness throughout Shawnee Mission and Kansas to the school funding cuts. Game On also shows their perseverance due to their holding of an annual walk to the Kansas capital in Topeka each year to spread awareness. This group is also nonpartisan showing that this is a fold not bound together by similar political beliefs, but with the belief for a thriving educational system in Kansas.

What I Learned

After the interview, I learned several things that are beneficial to the solution of my project. One of the thing that I learned was about the Gannon Supreme Court ruling that happened about a month ago in Kansas. In that case, the Kansas Supreme Court censored the funding crisis in Kansas and came to the conclusion that the Kansas schools were receiving an inadequate amount of funding. Ms. Deedy told me that in that ruling, the Supreme Court said that student test scores improved when there was adequate funding and the test scores decreased when there was a lack of funding. The second important thing that I learned was what would be needed to restore education in Kansas. In our interview, Ms. Deedy showed me a testimony from the Kansas Association of School Boards. That testimony showed me what funding would be needed to maintain and improve test scores. The testimony showed the cost of an increase of school funding totaling around $778.7 million; this cost would come from an increase in salaries, restoration of jobs for teachers and counselors, and the creation of services for underperforming students. These increases were then thought to maintain the success for the 75 percent of students succeeding and increase the success of the 25 percent underperforming. The last thing that I learned in this interview was that because of block grant funding, growing school districts were hurt severely because they couldn't receive more funding for more students under the block grants. Everything I learned is important so it can help the ravenous for funding school districts and their students within.

Reflection

Overall, this interview process did workout in the end, but it was difficult to get there. At first, I emailed Ms. Deedy and everything was working fine for the first few days of us emailing each other. She then told me that she was going to be in Florida for the next few days which did slow down the process. After she came home from Florida after about five days, I emailed her the questions I had hoping for a quick response. It then seemed perpetual waiting for her to respond and in that period, I emailed another organization hoping for a response. After four days of waiting for Ms. Deedy to respond, I finally emailed her, asking if she was too busy. She then replied saying she had responded, but when her email from her personal account never showed up in my inbox or spam, we realized it must have been blocked. I then gave her my personal email and I finally received her response to my questions.

Even though it took awhile, it wasn't anyone's fault that the communication took so long considering a vacation and blocking of an email slowed the process. Overall, I think I would do almost everything the same if I had to interview someone again. The only difference I would do would be to check with the interviewee if they were going to be busy in the next week and if they could email back fast. In the end, this was a slow process, but it was rewarding in the end.

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