Wednesday, November 06, 2002


We scored a big touchdown Tuesday by defeating the tax-levy override request of the Omaha Public Schools, and by such a bold margin, 60%-40%.

Woo Hoo!!! :>)

Be sure to visit http://www.GoBigEd.blogspot.com for post-election coverage.

Thank you very much to those Go Big Ed supporters who contributed $1,700 for some very effective ads in the face of more than $100,000 spent by the other side.

Special thanks to all those who shared the facts and "rocked the vote" on this important issue.

Now it’s time to put some plays together to score again . . . and win this game.

Needed: ideas for ways OPS could cut spending right away, and still be pro-teacher and, most of all, pro-student.

These ideas would be presented to the OPS board and the Legislature to voice the will of the people: excellence in education does not depend on big spending, and OPS can do a better job with the generous tax funds we're already giving them.

To produce these recommendations, I am seeking volunteers to serve on a blue-ribbon citizens' committee over the next few weeks. Please consider joining us.

We would suggest smart, practical ways that OPS could cut its spending right away. The goal: to remove the need for OPS to seek increased state aid from the Legislature or pursue a lawsuit seeking more funding.

Let’s get together on a strategy to help OPS get through its fiscal crunch and make a few necessary changes in spending patterns . . . without hurting teachers, students or the important things that need to keep happening in the classrooms of the state’s largest school district.

Just as Tuesday’s vote is having a domino effect on taxpayers and school officials statewide, solid, sensible, nonclassroom cost-cutting ideas would be a tremendous public service that would resonate well with taxpayers and school officials alike.

We need to prove that we are not their enemies. In fact, we are their patrons and their friends. It's time for us to provide fresh ideas and leadership on behalf of the children that we all care about so very much.

I would like to assemble the committee, meet once for dinner in mid-November to divide up the tasks, do the research, report back by phone or email by Dec. 15, write and rewrite, and then release the recommendations around the first of the year, as the Legislature is convening.

Needed: people to serve on the committee with focused research assignments. . . whether you can give an hour or 20 hours, there’s a spot for you . . . those who represent special groups of students are especially invited . . . accountants are especially invited . . . people to meet privately with OPS officials . . . people to review data on an anonymous basis . . . people to research cost-effective methods that are working elsewhere with students like those in OPS.

You can have your name listed, or not . . . simply give suggestions or plunge in full force . . . whatever role you'd like to play would be welcome.

All I can offer in return is dinner (probably at the Field Club, 36th and Woolworth) and my thanks for your willingness to serve and your support and leadership within your circle of influence.

Go Big Ed is on a mission.

Let’s roll!


(Please forward this website address to others, and reply to swilliams1@cox.net if you would like to join the committee)



Special thanks go to political consultant Paul Dorr, who aided the Go Big Ed committee and can now boast a track record on leading successful opposition to school bond issues and tax-levy overrides of 11 out of 12!

He is one awesome, taxpayer-friendly leader, and he's a great speaker, too. Cheers for the northern Iowan, a member in good standing of Go Big Ed with a special gold star for bravery in the line of duty.

Pass the word to friends in other cities and states about Mr. Dorr's effectiveness if they should face a tax increase in the future. The sooner you contact him and the more money you raise, the more effective your defense will be. You can reach him at (712) 758-3660 or rtp@juno.com

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