More questions for school board
McCook school district patrons and taxpayers should thank John Morgan for opening the discussion of the recent actions of the school board. (McCook Daily Gazette, Tuesday, May 29, 2007) While some of their actions have been noted, we need to ask some additional questions to which the public deserves answers.
I understand that the board did not accept Dr. Marchant's resignation as tendered, but immediately terminated his contract. By doing so, are we paying the balance of his contract, plus unused vacation and sick days? How much is this costing? Would these costs have been incurred had the board simply accepted his resignation as tendered? What is the additional expense of hiring Mr. Berry until an interim is hired? Are there additional costs yet to be incurred in the hiring of an interim superintendent?
Regarding the McCook Elementary School: Did the board spend $ 5,000 to hire a consultant to examine the Reading First reading program and make recommendations to the board? Were her recommendations to terminate the Reading First program? It is my understanding that the consultant applauded the teacher's efforts and hard work, noting that the program was working. Has the Reading First grant provided in excess of $900,000 in staff development and materials that will be for naught upon the discontinuation of the Reading First program? Was an additional $5,000 spent to audit the Reading First program? What were the results of the audit? At a regular board meeting, the board voted to eliminate the Reading First program, when according to the U.S. Department of Education, "Reading First is the largest and most effective federal early reading initiative in our nation's history."
No mention was made of the Reading Mastery program, a research-based program that reaches all students. Did the board, without a public meeting, determine that the Reading Mastery program also be nixed?
These are just a few of the questions that come to mind when looking at the McCook school board's recent actions. I think the taxpayers deserve answers.