Government shutdown affects students

Published 7:52pm Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I read the National School Board Action Center recently and couldn’t help but be very concerned on how the Federal Government shut down has affected children and education.

Despite the fact that 57,000 children lost services as a result of sequester of federal funds the last fiscal year; it is established that about 19,000 lost access to Head Start services already and it is likely that the number will grow as federal grants to the program are not renewed.

Also relative to children and their education is the fact that School lunch and Breakfast program may be affected after October, if the shutdown continues because the federal government would not be unable to provide reimbursement. Children’s Education should not be mired simply because of partisan feud.

I believe that leaders should review their guide posts for decision making particularly when such decision affects children.

You have to ask yourself if it is a super natural or a natural force that influences your leadership decision making.

When I first became part of the Meat Inspection Program, I found out that one of my mentors in the program had another manual (bible) on his desk that he referred to regularly, in addition to the several stacks of government manuals, directives, and regulations on his desk. I had to observe him closely because he was able to do his job well that our agency respected him and the establishment that he inspected respected him also. He was extremely fair in his judgment that I told my self that I will leave bible on my desk too.

I write and read books, but this guide post called bible is an amazingly powerful tool for decision making.

With no disrespect to board policy manual, government regulations and directives, this manual is far more comprehensive than the other manuals. While I do not quote this superior manual when I write my report or argue my case on the boards that I serve, still it is in my heart.

Check out some of these samples in the manual, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”   “In all your ways acknowledge Him (God) and He will direct your path.” “You prepared room for it, and it took deep root, and it filled the land- Psalm 80:9” “Or what King, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand” Luke 14:31

This reliance on God, for guidance, makes us judicious, curbs pride, balances power, and helps us stay away from what are professionally known as Dictatorial Policy Making; or Instant Policy Making.

An example of Dictatorial Policy Making is when the school board makes policy unilaterally without seeking the advice of those who will be affected-students, teachers, principal, superintendent, other staff, parents, and other community members.

Instant Policy Making, on the other hand is when the school board makes decision too hastily, without the benefit of research, study, cool deliberation, due notice or sufficient input.

I just used the school board as an example but the two styles can affect any organization or people.

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