It is confusing to witness, year after year, teacher support of the ridiculous notion that consistent district budget deficits are actually due to decreased enrollment and increased teacher salaries and benefits. Year after year the fiscal decisions of the district, supported by the Board, create a financial fiasco for which students and teachers are made the scapegoats. Year after year teachers are told that they must “bite the bullet” in order to decrease the number of layoffs of their colleagues. For whatever reason, teachers and school employees, under the urging of their unions, accept the consequences of the poor budgetary leadership of this district.
Ironically, since no one is holding the offending parties accountable for their monetary indiscretions their actions are reinforced and therefore continue, creating a cycle of fiscal failure that has resulted in a $70 million dollar deficit with an increase in that deficit for the coming years.
Vice-Chancellor Cofield made it very clear, the answer to this dilemma is not the Board of Regents, it is the Board of Elections. As citizens, we must simply vote out of office the electorates that have shown themselves to be incredulous and incompetent. We must stand up against their blatant misuse of educational dollars and, as a community, hold them accountable.
Cofield advised members of this community to involve the Federal government in the actions of our Title I district since that is where the majority of our funding comes. We were advised to write to the Commissioner of Education with our concerns about the fiscal mismanagement of our educational dollars. First and foremost however, we must not continue to reelect those individuals who consistently drive a wedge between educators and community members in order to detract attention from their illicit activities.
Teachers will vote to ratify the contract even though promises made by the district to cut Central Office personnel have not materialized. Things will return to “normal” until the next budget season when more layoffs are announced.
Hopefully, this year, the cycle will be broken by the election of a new Board.
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