To the editor:
Debbie Batey?s recent letter to the editor contained misinformation, half-truths, innuendos and mischaracterization of the facts. She always neglects to mention the many positive things for students that have occurred in the last two years. Board members, administrators and meeting minutes can verify the following:
1. Depending on how you describe ?large,? there was not a large surplus when Dr. Wells was hired. He has done exactly what the board told him they wanted done; I was in attendance at those meetings and stand behind what we asked him to do. If you define ?large? as having enough money to air-condition the schools there was enough surplus. According to Chris Prellwitz, former board member for 16 years, there was enough money ?to probably air-condition the elementary schools in 2012-13 (email dated 11-28-14). Declining enrollment and failure of a past board to start an early childhood program when they first had the chance cost the district over $200,000.
2. The scuba class was paid for out of money saved ($113,000) from asking teachers to be at school the same percentage of time that the state requires students to be in attendance. The money saved came from not having to hire substitutes.
3. School gardens and equipment were paid entirely out of grant money from the Farm to School program, U.S. Bank, youth gardening, master gardeners and Fruit and Vegetable program. The district just received another Fruit and Vegetable grant for $16,000.
4. Salaries of the two ?tech people? will be the same as they have been receiving plus a lump sum for a 401K. Their salary was not cut any let alone ?nearly in half? as Ms. Batey incorrectly states. They have the opportunity to be hired by a local businessman, not a company from Nebraska as Ms. Batey again incorrectly states.
5. The $12 million that she refers to was brought to the board by a group of citizens who made various recommendations regarding our facilities. SOS members served on that committee ? the group that has opposed almost every change or improvement the district has tried to implement.
6. Ms. Batey wants you to believe that Dr. Wells is running amok doing whatever he wants; however, he is merely doing what the seven elected board members have charged him to do to improve the education of our students.
Dr. Lonny Morrow
MPCSD School Board member