Wednesday, February 2, 2011

School board faces spending insanity


I opened the paper last week to read of state schools Superintendent Tom Luna's "Children Come First" plan. Although I am not happy with the idea of increased class size, I do like the idea of performance-based pay for teachers, and I like the idea of increasing a new teacher's base salary. I wonder if administrators would also be subject to performance-based pay, and who could evaluate them?

Then I flipped ahead a few pages and I read the article on the appointment of Heather Crocker as our new communications director for the school district with a whopping starting salary of $78,000 plus benefits!

I took part in the communications audit and I attended the communications town hall meeting presented by the School District. There were in fact many people at this meeting, including myself, who spoke out against the need to hire someone for this position. Dr. Lonnie Barber asked for a show of hands, who would be in favor and who would be against this position, and the room was clearly divided. At the Nov. 9 school board meeting, the need for this controversial position was put on the agenda and narrowly approved by the board, once again confirming a divided sentiment among valley residents.

I cannot understand why the School District can in good conscience hire someone at this monstrous salary when teaching jobs are in jeopardy under Tom Luna's proposed plan and in these economic times! Seventy-eight thousand dollars a year could pay for hiring two teachers or para-professionals to enhance the lives of our students.

Ms. Crocker's position is still subject to school board approval. I urge the school board to think clearly when asked to approve hiring Ms. Crocker at this inflated salary at the Feb. 8 school board meeting. Julie, Dan, Steve, Paul and Kathryn, please ask yourselves, "How will hiring Ms. Crocker enhance the lives of our students?" It is not too late to vote "no." Let's stop this spending insanity!

Annie Weber

Hailey




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