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New Scotland Archives The Altamont Enterprise, May 12, 2011
By Saranac Hale Spencer
The current budget crises highlights what is wrong with the public education system, said Vincent Potenza, and he’s making his first run for the school board because “something needs to be done.”
He hasn’t yet looked at the proposed budget in detail, Potenza said. The specifics of the budget are moot, he said, using the phrase that it would be like “tinkling in the ocean.”
The whole thing needs to be changed, he said of the budget. The district should get rid of textbooks, which are expensive and heavy on small backs, and instead provide children with iPads, on which teachers could build their own curricula. Potenza owns SoundLightMind Inc., a media and web company, but would do no business with the district if he were elected to the board, said Potenza.
If things change according to how he envisions they should, the district could stay within the governor’s proposed tax-levy cap, Potenza said. Of getting 60 percent of voters to approve of going over the cap, he said, “I doubt it. I think people are fed up.”
In contract negotiations with the unions, Potenza said, “I would give them nothing.” He hopes for the state legislature to make it illegal for teachers’ unions to operate in schools.
Potenza posted his answers to an inquiry sent to the school board candidates from the teachers’ union on his website. One query from the union is: “Describe what you perceive to be the role of the teachers union in education?”
Potenza’s answer is: “First of all this is not a question so there shouldn’t even be a question mark at the end. And you are interviewing me about education? I see no role whatsoever for this union it should be vaporized instantly.”
Of the Clarksville closure, Potenza said, “It shouldn’t have had to happen.”
The school board is most responsible to the kids, he said, “obviously.”