Letter: Use school funding wisely
Around 1995, the voters passed one of the largest construction bonds in the history of the Moses Lake School District. The purpose of the bond was to remodel each and every school: all elementary schools, both junior highs and the high school. As each building came on line for remodeling the principal was given an additional role in the construction phase of his/her building. Their involvement would entail such things as additional meetings with the construction project supervisor, keeping the administrative team informed of progress, ordering supplies and materials for the building, et cetera. Yes, this was in addition to the responsibilities of running a school while a remodel project was underway. Because of these extra duties, each principal was given, in addition to the yearly salary, a stipend of $10,000.
When this information got out into the community, there was an uproar, and even one of the gas stations posted on their reader board: “Give the money back to the kids!” Isn’t that what we always hear during a levy or bond issue? “It’s for the kids!” But many of the voters in the community were asking, “Really?”
The “really” again came home to roost with the news of bonuses being awarded to specific individuals who are already being adequately compensated by a yearly negotiated and agreed-upon contract. Also, when the CEO of an organization is dismissed and then hired as a consultant, one has to wonder what just happened. That’s like being voted out of office and then being hired as a lobbyist and continuing your employment, only under a different title.
Throughout the school year, two valuable resources are sent our way: students and funding. Are we being fiscally prudent in the manner in which we educate the youth of our community?
John F. Bartkowski, Ph.D.