This Board wants to hamstring a future Board by changing the voting date?

21 Oct 2019 | 07:36

    It is more than disturbing to me to see what is happening to our Sparta Board of Education.

    Sparta failed QSAC, the state monitoring system, for curriculum. Sparta is known for its outstanding educational system. Due to failing ASAC, we are no longer considered a high performing district by the state.

    We did not fail because the teachers did not do their jobs, but because our Superintendent did not prioritize completing QSAC in a timely fashion.

    Other districts, like Jefferson, Vernon, Chester, Rockaway and Morris Hills were able to complete QSAC in a timely fashion. Instead of making "a new logo his #1 priority," as stated in the January 2019 meeting, the Superintendent should have done everything in his power to avoid getting this black stain on our town. This will certainly have a negative effect on the education of all our children as a result of the curriculum not meeting the state requirements, a negative impact on our high school seniors' acceptances into colleges and universities, not to mention having an adverse effect on our real estate market.

    One month later, after failing QSAC, the majority of the Board of Education gave the Superintendent a $20,000 raise. The only ones to vote against this atrocity were Kim Bragg, Jen Grana, and Kate Matteson.

    The Superintendent's contract is up in June 2020. According to the contract, it must be voted on no later than March 11, 2020. This Board President, Kelly McEvoy, did the unthinkable: she has decided to move the contract renewal up by 6 months to the October 28, 2019 meeting...just 7 days prior to the Board of Education election.

    We saw these antics being done under a previous Superintendent. This Board majority is clearly a rubber stamp for the Superintendent, something we vehemently fought against in the past.

    I question the legality of this decision, wondering how one Board can hamstring a future Board by so blatantly changing the voting date on a Superintendent's contract. This could clearly saddle the district with a lawsuit in the future. In any case, where are the ethics of this Board majority?

    Please join me on November 5th in voting for: #3 Kim Bragg, #4 Kurt Morris, and #5 Niamh Grano.

    Melva A. Cummings