3 Minutes Aug 10, 2021

Good evening, Mrs. Scott, Mrs. Henn, Dr. Williams, and members of the board. Thank you for the opportunity to speak before you tonight.

This week is week 5 for me as executive director of CASE, and I’d like to share with you the concerns my members have brought forward.

Every time I speak, you will hear me ask for a seat for CASE at the table as plans are being developed. The employees and the families are nearest the work and will need to implement the changes. When we are not included from the beginning, you miss the opportunity to create buy-in and to hear possible obstacles from the practitioners.

There should be a simple cycle for implementing changes.

  1. Staff and stakeholders should create options to be implemented.
  2. Options should be shared with staff and the public.
  3. Feedback should be collected and analyzed for practicality.
  4. Appropriate changes should be made to the options based on time and resources.
  5. And then the plan is announced.

Very often the plans are designed without our input, and we are asked to review moments before the plan is announced. Everyone is left without time to process and problem solve to ensure a strong implementation.

CASE administrators are concerned about hiring staff in time to open school. There were a great number of resignations and retirements this year. We recognize we have just completed two of the hardest years in educational history, but we need to become more strategic in our retention and recruitment efforts. CASE is encouraged that experienced senior staff has been assigned to work on recruitment and retention.

One of the most fulfilling parts of my job is to address member concerns. Most concerns center around unrealistic workloads. When staff contact me, I am inspired by the passion and work ethic they bring to their jobs. Consistently CASE members bring me problems, but they also bring me multiple solutions. Staff has been performing under great pressure for the last two years. Diamonds are formed under great pressure. CASE members are diamonds. We can’t afford to lose any additional priceless resources.

I believe unrealistic workloads is directly related to resignations and retirements. It is time to seriously plan to reduce inefficiencies. CASE will be forming a workgroup to examine what we need to keep doing, what we need to stop doing and what we need to begin doing, to make our jobs more manageable. We invite TABCO and BCPS staff to be part of the workgroup. We will bring recommendations to the board and to Dr. Williams.

Thank you for the opportunity to speak this evening.

Billy Burke, Executive Director