Reggie Paulk: Why can’t E. Grand schools fix their problems?
To the Editor:
It seems like yesterday the East Grand School District was lobbing threats of school closures. In fact, it was only two months ago, when two amendments and a proposition were soundly rejected by voters out of fear of the potential impact they would have on local government funding.
Back then, the school district said temporary school closures “might” be necessary should those measures pass. I also opined that pass or no, the schools were in trouble regardless. Today, seemingly out of the blue, we are now threatened with an almost certain closure of both Fraser Valley Elementary and Grand Lake Elementary schools.
During the district board meeting, it was mentioned by the District Accountability Committee (DAC) that this has been a possibility for quite some time. I don’t know about you, but I’m through with what can only be construed as a constant stream of threats to take drastic measures while our children and teachers are left swinging in the wind.
East Grand currently runs five schools. Shuttering two schools amounts to a 40 percent reduction in facilities, but I haven’t seen one mention of a similar cutting of salaries among the administration’s top officials. In fact, the only plans I’ve seen so far – raising taxes (good luck) and cutting facilities – only buy time; they don’t solve the underlying fiscal problems the district faces.
It is clear our school district is in crisis. The problem is that it’s been in a crisis phase ever since the downturn began in late 2007, and it’s beginning to take a toll on our communities. From the county to the towns and library district, budgets have taken a hit. The school district is the only body that can’t seem to get its house in order.
Is it time for new leadership? Is it time for East Grand School District’s board to step down, and for the administrators to tender their resignations?
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