Archive for Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Self-proclaimed ‘character’ goes against the grain on some issues

March 27, 2007


Robert Rauktis sees himself as a little different from the other eight candidates running April 3 for four seats on Lawrence's school board.

"I'm the character," Rauktis said during a recent candidate forum, getting some laughs.

While some of the other candidates arrived in more formal dress, Rauktis wore a colorful Hawaiian shirt.

And he wasn't afraid to go against the grain on certain issues, either.

For example, he questions the need for all-day kindergarten, saying it "sounds suspiciously like day care" to him.

He also calls himself "pro-teacher and anti-intimidation," in reference to his stand against the district's new wellness policy, which takes a hard line against sugary snacks and drinks being offered in school.

Rauktis has called the district's new wellness policy that bans junk food in schools "kind of silly." Rauktis also said he was against having teachers enforce such a policy.

"It's a big rock to push up a steep hill," he said.

At 55 and single, Rauktis is a retired neuroradiologist who has worked in Boston, New York City, Seattle, Northern California and Johnson County.

He currently is seeking a master's degree at Kansas University in teaching English as a second language.

His past community service includes serving on the board of directors of Community Alliance with Family Farmers in California and Surfrider Foundation, a California organization.

A fiscal conservative, he also has said it would be "preposterous" to spend money on all-day kindergarten when the district needs money for existing programs and teacher salaries.

"I target my money to the grown-ups," he said.

He said kindergarten used to be considered a half-day transition period, "between home and industrial education."

"An all-day thing is difficult for somebody that age," he said. "It's not for everyone. I just think there's a better expenditure of your money and you have to make tough decisions."

However, he said Lawrence probably wouldn't be able to afford to pay local teachers what is being offered in more wealthy neighboring school districts.

"It would be difficult to conceive of an arms race with Johnson County over teachers," he said. "I think the main thing Lawrence has is simply the community because they want to come here."

He said if a teacher's decision comes down to salary, Lawrence probably would be better off if those teachers chose Johnson County instead.

"You don't want them on your teaching staff moving up here because they've got different priorities than the people have in this community," he said.


kugrad 11 years, 1 month ago

Don't vote for this clown. He has no concept of how school finance works. If he did, he would know that the wealth of a community does not affect teacher salaries due to the laybrinth of state laws on school funding. He also isn't astute enough to understand what is well-known, that it is more cost-efficient to intervene with children when they are young, rather than wait for them to experience failure and then step in with programs for older kids. There are many better candidates in this race, although I'd rather support this guy than Pomes.

altarego 11 years, 1 month ago

I agree with Rautkis. All-day kindergarten is day care. In his online chat he referred to the fact that there are entire industries whose business model depends on duping teachers, school boards, and PTOs across the country (my expansion).

I like this guy.

"...the wealth of a community does not affect teacher salaries due to the laybrinth of state laws on school funding."

You are saying teachers make the same salaries throughout the state? If the subject is too complex for me it's probably because I went to a half day kindergarten and therefore I am a clown as well.

altarego 11 years, 1 month ago

Can I write him in for city commission?

bearded_gnome 11 years, 1 month ago

this fellow said at the march 5th forum he ran because he "thought it would be fun."

Pomes is a good choice. his "bone to pick" as one poster put it, isn't bad, and there's been far worse reasons why someone ran for political office. Pomes does already have a record of service.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.