Wednesday, April 21, 2010
It’s About the Kids –Yea Right!
The school administration gang (and yes they are an organized group of gangsters) have began their whisper campaign. First and foremost,” it’s about the kids.” That sounds nice and fuzzy and as a voter it would make me think that perhaps I should forgive the board for all their past nonsensical decisions but is it about the kids really? This quaint little phrase is the catch words that people connected with the school are being encouraged to “whisper” amongst their friends and acquaintances to make you feel good about giving yet more money to be wasted to this school board administration.
Another “whisper” going around is “We may have to cut some programs for the kids.” What sensible parent of a high school student would want one of their kids programs cut? You know the cut won’t come from sports but rather from some worthy learning program that will tug on the old heart strings.
Next, teachers, aides and other staff are being told the “if the mill levy doesn’t pass a couple of you will have to go.” Now who really wants to be the one to “go” unless you are like the superintendent and go with a couple years salary? Spreading fear among the workforce about their very livelihood is always good to get a few wayward thinkers back into line. Hearing from the administration the words like “I hope the levy passes because we just can’t figure out how to make it without a couple of layoffs” always gets passed around between the employees and works well to instill fear in the workforce who in turn will gladly encourage their neighbors to vote yes.
The very fact that the election is held in the school actually tilts the scale in favor of the mill levy being passed. Why isn’t this election being held by mail ballot which would garnish a larger percentage of Havre citizens voting?
Let’s take a look at the “facts” of this mill levy request. The school brass has previously announced that the high school student numbers are down this year but through the wonderful management of the current school administration they ONLY need to ask the voters for a mere $44,552 on this mill levy to supplement their current $4,684,518 budget. The fact that the $200,000 or so of tax money wasted on a 6-month superintendent is being excused as a minor set-back is inexcusable. Interestingly, the super-duper highly qualified former Superintendent Mahon just recently made the short list to replace the superintendent in Geraldine, Montana but was beat out of the job by a young 20-ish person hired to take his first administrative position. So much for the “excellent” vetting the Havre board claims to have made into Mahon’s background before hiring him and then nearly immediately “retiring” him with a big bag of our tax money.
Another “fact” that has never been mentioned is the fact that the student numbers are actually up in the elementary district which resulted in an increase of $579,000 giving the elementary district a total budget of over 8 million dollars. If we have to have a mill levy increase when we are short a mere 44 thousand or so why don’t the taxpayers receive a mill levy DECREASE in the elementary district when we have abundance? What exactly did the district do with this extra money? Did they start new programs that will have to be sustained in upcoming years? Did they hire more staff? Teachers? Did anyone get a raise? Why is it that we never hear about any of this bonus money?
Considering all the facts this year and the shabby treatment the public has received from this board, everyone here at the Corrector will be voting a big NO on this mill levy request and encourage you to do the same.