Davenport School District nurse Janice Telsrow reminded Superintendent Art Tate and about 40 people Wednesday at Walcott School how important school nurses are to the education of the district’s children.
Telsrow spoke at the last of six forums offered for people to comment on the district’s budget, which could include in the future outsourcing nurses, janitors and security guards.
Proposed school boundaries were another hot topic at the forums.
“We know the students and their parents,” Telsrow, who is the nurse at Buffalo and Wilton elementary schools, said. “We often know their extended families. We know their health history. We are an integral part of a child’s education.”
Those are all advantages over any nurse who comes in as an outsourced employee, she said.
Kevin Hodson, a 30-year employee as a janitor, said no janitorial company could provide all of the services that regular school janitors provide without the district spending a lot more money. The district, he said, “will pay through the nose” for services beyond emptying trash cans, mopping floors and dusting.
“For the 30 years I’ve been here, and in each contract negotiation, guess what, they’re threatened to lay us off,” he said. “Well, I’m not begging for my job anymore.”
Hodson said that as student enrollment has fallen, the number of principals and administrators has risen. “Why look at the bottom of the totem pole every time you cut the budget?” he said.
Redrawing the district’s boundaries to level attendance at all schools to about 85 percent capacity has been a passionate issue since Tate introduced it — especially true of the issue of open enrollment at the high school level.
Several people commented both for and against keeping open enrollment at the district’s three high schools during Wednesday’s session.
Tate said he and members of the school board will read all of the comments made at the forums and submitted online. “We’re going to find all those nuggets of information that will help us make the best decisions for the good of the students and the district.”