School board/Granaas Name: Michael M. Granaas
Education: Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology.
Occupation: College professor at USD.
How long have you lived in Vermillion?
Almost 16 years.
Why are you interested in serving on the Vermillion School Board?
I have several reasons for wanting to serve on the Vermillion School Board. First among these is my concern for the continued quality of my children's education. My children have been receiving a solid education in Vermillion and I want to do whatever I can to assure that the quality of education for all of Vermillion's children remains high.
Second, I feel that because of my interest and background in education, serving on the Vermillion School Board provides me with a perfect opportunity to utilize my skills and talents for the benefit of the whole community. This is one way that I can make a meaningful contribution to my community.
Finally, I am concerned about the current and future budget problems that are facing the Vermillion School District. Cuts of approximately $200,000 took effect during the current school year. Additional cuts of approximately $500,000 will take effect next school year, and the school board is anticipating the need to make additional cuts of over $600,000 for the following year unless additional funding is found.
These cuts threaten the quality of education that our children will receive. In times of trouble I feel very strongly that I cannot just sit back and wait for someone else to take care of the problems. I want to get involved and help. This is an opportunity for me to help.
Please list what you believe should be short term and long term goals of the Vermillion School District.
Short-term I want to see better communication between the board and the Vermillion community. Until my wife and I started attending school board meetings last fall, we had no idea that there had been $200,000 in budget cuts which took effect this year. Until the Plain Talk published an article about the budget cuts the board made for next year many people had no idea that more cuts were coming.
There are some people in the community who are working very hard to develop a better system for parents, schools, and the board to communicate and cooperate. Since I see these efforts as instrumental in improving board/community communications, I will be supporting these efforts.
In both the long-term and short-term we need to be concerned about the level of funding for education in South Dakota. State funding is not adequate to meet the needs of our children in this day and age, and there is no sign that that will change anytime soon. This means that the school board will have to make some very difficult choices to ensure
that we get the best possible education for our children given the resources available. These decisions will shape the face of education in Vermillion for many years to come.