Questions kindergarten funding

| 15 Feb 2012 | 10:02

    It was written in the Sparta Independent that Dr. Morton said, "Funding the full-day kindergarten will not increase taxes. We will make full-day kindergarten a priority within the existing budget." Let's just think for a moment. How is that possible? First we had to close down MAS because there was "no money." Then we had to stop courtesy busing because there was "no money." Teachers were convinced to freeze their salaries because there was "no money." Teachers were let go because there was "no money." It seems that Dr. Ceurvels may have been right when he said that Dr. Morton stated, "I'm closing the school because they voted down my budget." Ceurvels claimed that he told Dr. Morton and Mrs. Dericks that there was no need to close MAS or get rid of the busing because there was money available. Dr. Morton's spending frenzy now proves Dr. Ceurvels was correct and there was money all along. Dr. Morton went to the town council pleading poverty, begging the town council to ignore the voices of the taxpayers who voted down the budget and who were expecting the town council to make significant cuts. Now there is suddenly money to open up MAS? The administration will have to staff the school with six new teachers. Will we need a nurse? Who is going to pay for all the heating, water, electricity, building maintenance, custodians, cafeteria, classroom supplies? In addition, there will probably be the expense of adapting some of the bathrooms. Where is all of this money coming from? One day we don't have it, the next day we do? Dr. Morton is spending our money like it is water (he just added several new supervisors at the high school, a new technology person, a new permanent substitute at Helen Morgan). How is it that after pleading poverty, there is suddenly plenty of money available? Why were we deceived in the first place? And for how long have we been deceived? Even after the budget was defeated, Dr. Morton claims that he can do all of this within that failed budget. If this is the board's idea of a "bare bones budget" as stated by Mrs. Dericks in her budget presentations leading up to the April vote, then why should the taxpayers ever believe a thing that this board of education and this administration presents? Why should we vote for another school budget when our schools have so much discretionary money to play with, much more than is in the checkbooks of many Sparta residents? Shame on them! Melva A. Cummings Sparta Editor's note: We incorrectly reported what Dr. Morton said. He said,"We will make full-day kindergarten a priority within the existing budget." The statement about funding kindergarten not increasing taxes was our extrapolation of various conversations together with the budget surplus that was reported in June. As a matter of clarity, this surplus is different from the monies being discussed for fields. That surplus is from the Fund 30 account, which is not part of the general operating fund.