|To the Editor: Otsego board, administrators, staff thanked||| Print ||
|Written by Mary (Molly) Scott|
|Wednesday, 27 January 2010 08:25|
I would like to commend the outgoing Otsego Board of Education and the current administration for moving this school district forward in light of the economic climate, unfunded governmental regulations, and errors by county auditors in miscalculating predicted revenues from income taxes that replaced 17.6 mills in property tax.
This administration and board has implemented over $1.5 million in budgetary cuts in order to stay in the black. At the same time they have moved this district forward. Not only do we have a new high school that offers up to date technology, but we have replaced the junior high building that was obsolete years ago. Recent decisions have enabled the district to retrieve over $13 million in OFSC funds our district is entitled. Those funds will enable our district to provide a much needed and improved elementary facility that will serve all our children.
The decision to close Weston Elementary now, and Haskins and Grand Rapids in the future was not easy, but the option of cutting funds another way was not feasible. Buildings and teaching staff are what we pay for. What good is it to have 3 local school buildings if you can't afford the teachers? When given a choice of consolidating services or eliminating teachers, I agree with the choice that was made. It was, and still is, the best option. As much as we would all like to keep small town schools, it is not cost efficient.
I know that I can't always get what I want, but I get what I need. I know we need good schools for our kids and we have them at Otsego. We have people we know and trust taking care of our kids every day. Mr. Garber has the highest integrity, skills and ethics when it comes to leading our school district. Board members have been effective representatives and stewards of our tax dollars. Teachers work hard to connect with our children, set examples as role models, and educate them to be productive and responsible citizens. Parents and support groups have contributed additional funding and services in order to keep extracurricular activities. The evidence is that our students have excelled. Scores in proficiency testing for our children continue to improve, and our school is rated as "Excellent" by the state based on test scores, attendance and graduation rates.
Thank you Otsego board members, administration and staff.
Mary (Molly) Scott
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