My name is Michael Hatten and I am running for a seat on the Lawrence School Board. I decided to return to the board, at this time, because I believe our community needs experienced leadership, as we deliberate over the significant challenges facing our district such as teacher contracts, the #6 school, student outcomes, allocation of resources, and fiscal discipline. These are serious issues that will impact the lives of all of us. This is why I am running. This is why I feel I am the right candidate for a seat on the board.
I am currently the president of Global Business Institute, a two-year non-degree business school; the chairman and chief executive officer of New York Automotive and Diesel Institute, an automotive and diesel technical school; and the chief executive officer of National Career Institute, a paramedical and construction trades school. I employ 132 faculty, staff, and school administrators. I am responsible for educating over 2,500 students annually. I am the chairman of the Advisory Council for Licensed Private Career Schools, defined in Education Law 5010. I was appointed by the Governor as Chairman. This Council reports to the Commission of Education and the Legislature on all matters affecting the 500 licensed postsecondary non-degree schools in our state, which educates over 200,000 students annually.
Many of you in the community will remember when I was first elected to the school board in 2006. The three years I served on the board were some of the most tumultuous years in the history of our district. Do you remember when school taxes rose 10% each year, special needs children were routinely denied placement, transportation was a complete disaster, and residents had to pay for the use of public fields? Do you remember all the hateful rhetoric?
During my three years on the board taxes never rose, special needs children received the services they deserved, transportation became a non-issue, ball fields and other school facilities were now accessible to the entire community, and the hateful rhetoric finally died down. We live in a great and wonderfully diverse district. Our unique community dynamic presents multiple challenges, but it also presents multiple opportunities. If you believe I am the best candidate, who will make thoughtful decisions, then I would be honored to represent you on the school board. v