By Richard Paris, Florence
Well, sure as the sun rises in the east, March comes and there is another “Mill Levy” in Florence! The school board uses this (levy) as the norm under the current state of overspending and under achievement with both the current administration and school board having no accountability.
The facts are simple and sad! What is this money going to be used for? Here are the simple facts:
A: The Superintendent in a non contract year last year, had his contract opened to receive a 3% increase so now as of 2012 will be receiving over $110,000 per year not including his 100% medical insurance which covers his entire family. By the way, he’s the only employee in the district to get that package. That’s another $15,000 per year plus his other perks, his salary is probably around $130,000!
B: Guess what the Mill levy amount is? You got it, $130,000 and friends, that isn’t one time, that’s forever!
C: The school population has shrunk from nearly 983+ students to now around 800 or under 800 by now. For each student lost the district loses about $5,500 in State funds – $1,006,500! Wow!
D: We have “four″ administrators instead of the two that “OPI” mandates. OPI accreditation 10.55.706 article (1) sub article (3) state schools enrollment between 551-1050 students are required to have two full-time administrators/principals! Having four has cost this community and children over $2,000,000 in 10 years due to administrative waste!
Think about this. The budget of this school is over $7,000,000 for 800 students. That’s $8,750 per student! There are out of district students which we receive $5,500 per year from State matching “ANB” funds, so we the taxpayers are on the hook for over $3,000 per student.
Darby last year hired a Superintendent/Principal for $75,000! We should only have a super/principal and another principal. That would save us over $200,000.00 per year including other staffing loss.
Sadly, there are many more facts, but seemingly many people in Florence may not believe how mismanaged this school is! We have the best teacher to student ratio in our high school for most of the state, with poor results! The basic HS graduate in Florence averages between $5,000-$7,500 per student in scholarship funds when other HS are double or triple that. In Missoula, one high school’s students receive an average over 20X the average Florence student!
When a team fails, it’s time to fire the head coach and in this case, we need less admin and a school board that can lead, not “blindly trust.”
The mill levy in Florence is strictly to pay for raises given by our school board to the entire staff. When was your last raise in these rough economic times? Don’t throw your hard earned money to a failed system! Vote no, I will be!