Letter: Claims school data doesn’t always computeWhen I first started investigating the proposed $39-million school referendum, I was reminded several times by Superintendent Westerhaus that “Brighter Minds” had been preparing this referendum for several years.
By: Peggy Steffl, town of Clifton, River Falls Journal
When I first started investigating the proposed $39-million school referendum, I was reminded several times by Superintendent Westerhaus that “Brighter Minds” had been preparing this referendum for several years.
Well, that might be comforting for some, I guess. However, I would feel a lot more at ease if the school district could answer simple questions in a more forthcoming and timely manner.
For example, recently the school district mailed out a brochure entitled, “Reinvesting in Our Schools” that includes a bar graph highlighting an astonishing elementary population growth rate (Page 9).
The problem with the brochure’s bar graph is that its questionable “growth” numbers conflict with those from the school district’s own demography report.
The actual student population numbers from the demography report indicate that there has been no growth at all in the elementary grades from the years 2000/01 to 2009/10.
When I asked for clarification regarding why the brochure’s bar graph doesn’t coincide with historical enrollment numbers, and if I could see the data supporting their graph, I was told it would take several days to obtain that information.
Granted, I know school administrators are busy, but data supporting a publication that they, themselves, just sent out should be immediately available. It’s not unreasonable to assume they could retrieve that information within a few minutes.
At a recent school board meeting I attended, the board agreed that questions regarding this referendum should be answered in as few words as possible.
Does the board assume people can’t handle details? Or do they realize the more details taxpayers obtain, the more likely they are to say, “Hey, wait a minute, we don’t agree with that!” or, “Couldn’t that be done more efficiently?”
The district’s taxpayers deserve accurate information and a most cost-effective plan! Vote “No” on April 5.