The Sparta Board of Education is out of touch with reality

| 15 Feb 2012 | 09:10

    There were about 200 people at the board of education meeting in July. At that meeting, the taxpayers of Sparta asked the board to have a microphone for each and every member of the board. People in the audience had to yell out because they could not hear the board members when they were speaking. I was one of those people expressing my opinion about the microphones. At the Aug. 31 meeting of the Board of Education there were only four microphones on the stage in this $71 million building. If these board members were in my classroom, I would be calling their parents to tell them to come prepared to do their job. There was no agenda for the public to see, either online or in hard copy. Mr. Smith, the board president, did say that it was his fault that there was no agenda for the public to view before the meeting. How was it, however, that the Football and Lacrosse Booster Clubs learned about the agenda early Wednesday morning when the agenda was not posted online? In their e-mail to friends, the Booster Clubs were asking their supporters to attend the board meeting and support the new athletic fields, clearly proof that someone on the Board and/or Administration tried to orchestrate this meeting. In my opinion, this board meeting was a set-up. I do not think that the board wanted us to know what was going to be discussed at the meeting. They are trying to spend more of our tax dollars on a stadium and new fields for our students. I do realize that fields for the students are important. I do realize that sports are important. However, I think that this board is losing sight of the fact that the Sparta School District has placed 42nd out of 44 in academics with “I” districts. This administration and board, in my opinion, are not concerned about the ranking of our students. Academics should be first on their agenda. And then ignoring the fact that the public voted down a stadium/new field referendum twice, the board voted last night to spend $11,000 dollars to evaluate what needs to be done with the fields. They are also spending $150,000 dollars to place five monitors to be put around parts of the cafeteria to let the students know what is going on in the building. What happened to a PA system to make announcements? All this board wants to do is spend, spend and spend more of our tax dollars. They are out of touch with reality. People are financially hurting. In the past year and a half, my taxes have gone up a great deal. To have Keith Smith, Board President, dismiss my financial concerns with the statement, “I pay taxes too!” is insensitive. There are many Sparta people out of work today. People cannot put food on the table for their families. Many taxpayers in Sparta are losing their homes. This Board of Education needs a reality check. This board needs to make administration accountable for what is happening to this wonderful town. Phillip Seranni Sparta