Board of ed and administration out of control

| 15 Feb 2012 | 09:22

    Recently the Sparta Township Board of Education and administration have demonstrated that they have no control over their impulsive spending. At the recent board meeting they discussed a request to purchase and install 10 large-screen displays to be installed throughout the high school so that students can be informed of daily activities. The estimated cost for this is approximately $150,000 (at $15,000 each, these must be made of gold). These screens were not in the original design of the high school. They are being added on. They are not a need, they are a nice to have. Also at the same meeting, they discussed the possibility of purchasing 100 Kindles for use by students in the high school. No one during the discussions provided any substantial justification for these purchases. At a time when people are struggling to hold onto their homes in this disastrous economy this administration has no hesitation in recommending to the Board purchases like this. These are frivolous purchases. This comes on the heels of the yet unresolved surprise finding of millions of dollars of surplus. This surplus resulted from the administration and the Board of Education overtaxing the residents of Sparta in the past two budgets. As was reported in the Independent, they also are beginning to plan the design and implementation of the stadium project that was rejected by the voters at the time of the original high school referendum. There is approximately $4 million left unspent from the high school construction. Instead of a) refunding the money to the taxpayers, or b) seeking permission from the taxpayers to redirect the money, the administration and Board of Education are moving forward to spend the money. It is past time for this board to be receptive to and considerate of the needs of the community. When the school district is holding a large excess of funds in both the general budget as well as the high school construction account they should reach out to the community and determine the community's wishes for those monies. Anything short of a public referendum held publicly will not suffice. Paul Johnson Sparta