Letter To The Editor – Between A Rock And A Hard Place
To the editor,
Yes, this district is between a rock and a hard place. The opening sentence in the Eastwick’s March 5 edition regarding the situation of the Berlin Central School District is true! Due to the district administration and most board of education members’ determination to consolidate it would appear there are no other options to deal with the current economic crisis. Unfortunately they have decided to close their minds and take the easy way out by making the children, taxpayers and communities suffer.
Many other districts would consider other options before closing schools. Such options might include reducing our BOCES budget and start providing many of the services we pay them to provide in district. This budget is fast approaching 2 million dollars.
Reducing our administrative budget! Ironically, we are now paying another interim principal $450 a day. (Editor’s note: This refers to Toni Diamond who was BCSD Superintendent of Schools before Gregory.) I believe we are also paying this person’s retirement benefits? With the support of the superintendent one would think that the middle school principal could pick up the responsibilities of the high school principal during these tough economic times.
Another brilliant idea being considered currently is emptying perfectly good buildings to put modulars in front of BES to accommodate the children being moved out of Grafton. This decision was discouraged as being, “too costly” at a public meeting by the district architect over a year ago. What happened to all those folks that wanted to preserve the character of this historic building?
What happen to the alarm Mr. Paine and others sounded over the past couple of years, “If we don’t deal with all the health, safety and ADA issues the state will pull the certificate of occupancy on BES!” Now it’s OK to put all of our youngest children in that same building!
I think there is potential to save millions of dollars in this district by decentralizing the administration, creating three small community schools, which would reduce the amount of transportation, therefore saving additional dollars. Don’t let the BOE give away the buildings that we paid for and belong to all the taxpayers of this district.
Many districts spend a small fraction of their budget on BOCES services – just ask the folks in Hoosick Falls. The community school model is better for all and is being described as the “key to education reform!” If you haven’t noticed, this administration and BOE are going in the wrong direction!