I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Monday, April 11, 2016

NSBA 2016 Boston

The 76th Annual  NSBA Conference was held this year in Boston, MA.  This conference had some very interesting break-out sessions that focused on just about every area of school-related governance one could imagine.  The highlight for me this year was a presentation by the Chairman of the Governmental Acoounting Standards Board (GASB) concerning changes on the horizon pertaining to how pension and other post-employment benefits are to be reflected in the financial statements of governmental entities going forward.  These costs represent significant liabilities for small governments and school boards nation-wide, and with the new accounting protocols dictating the way such liabilities are indicated in financial statements will be something to watch closely in the years ahead.
Dan Rather gives a humble, self deprecating speech to NSBA in Boston
Massachusetts, 4-9-2016

Two of the featured session speakers, Dan Rather and Robin Roberts, gave speeches to the assembled thousands that were well received by the crowd.  Dan Rather described his thoughts on education and he hammered the point home that he believed that early childhood education was critical.  He said it was his belief that the schools should be engaged with parents from birth through pre-kindergarten.  In terms of funding this ambitious initiative, Rather stated "I do not have any ideas on how to fund this, though." Rather described his time in the United States Marine Corps as "short and not distinguished."  He was plugging his new book Rather Outspoken: My Life in the News  available now at a bookstore near you.

Robin Roberts' message was one of optimism and hopefulness.  She described her childhood as a
daughter of a military man, and she discussed her dreams of being a professional tennis player.  She ended up being a basketball standout that attended college in Louisiana on a full-ride scholarship.  Interestingly, one of her first broadcasting jobs, in addition to doing the sports reports on a small station, was as a Country/Western Music DJ!  Interesting speech about her fight with cancer and how she beat that deadly disease.

Along with the featured speakers, I was fortunate to be able to meet many other school board members from around the country, and I enjoyed and learned much from attending break-outs on:

--School Law and the latest hot-button topics
--winning bond elections
--calculating the value of a school district's economic impact on a community
--an excellent and informative presentation of all of the fun and useful tools Google offers

It was a great couple of days in Boston that will help me be a better school board member for the remainder of my tenure on the board!

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