Letter to the Editor

Board needs to look at other issues

Sunday, December 2, 2007

To the Editor:

At the school board meeting Nov. 26, 2007, the board voted to table considering extending the contracts of some employees until they could study the situation thoroughly.

This was a very wise thing to do. However, the board should also take a very thorough look at the kind of idiotic advice that they are getting from the upper tier of management in the school corporation.

The board should be considering the termination of contracts for people who think that any kind of additional security measures anywhere on school grounds could have prevented the shooting of the Van Buren School buildings.

As a Marine, I trained to take fortified positions from armed defenders and I can assure you that nothing can prevent that if the aggressor has the weapons and a good plan.

In short, we are all at risk all of the time and there is nothing we can do about it except keep our eyes open and hope that when we need help, it comes quickly.

Spending money on security equipment may make us feel better, but it will never make us safer.

It's time for our school board to wise up and start questioning the activities and statements of school corporation employees instead of "rubber-stamping" the recommendations of the superintendent.

Questioning things like buying band equipment with tax money collected for the Capitol Projects Fund, including in this proposed building plan a meeting room for the board where there are 14 empty buildings that can be used when the board meets, and the more than $4 million for a bus barn when an old Quonset hut building is adequately filling the need although it does need to be upgraded, etc., etc., etc.

It is time for our school board to question the statements made to them by high level school corporation employees such as exaggerating and misstating the expected student population growth as stated in the feasibility report in the minutes of their own meeting by the man who did the computations, stating that the Capitol Project Fund is not to construct or renovate buildings when state documents state that as the first purpose of that fund and tax levy, and statements that "the law" permits use of funds from tax levies for purposes other than what those levies are meant to support without citing the specific statute that authorizes the expenditure.

It's time for our school board to re-read the minutes of their own meetings and question what has been said or recommended and compare what was said in one meeting against what is said in later ones.

It is time for our school board to research what is recommended by the school corporation employees against what state documents say, like the recommendation that a Rainy Day Fun be formed despite the State Board of Accounts recommending that this fund should not be used.

It's time for our school board to seriously consider terminating several upper school corporation employees who can't seem to get the job done with what they have to work with.

It's time for our school board to justify any and every expenditure by citing Indiana or Federal law or quit letting money be spent on that item.

If, and only if, that does not solve our budget woes, then our school board should justify to the taxpayer and voter how our current rate of taxation does not cover the cost of an adequate education for our students and ask for a referendum tax levy by the vote of the public.

It's time for the school board to wise up or for the voter to get wise and replace every member of the current school board at the earliest opportunity.

Leo Southworth,