Archive for Thursday, June 28, 2007

Praise for district spending, choices

June 28, 2007

We were pleased to see the Baldwin School District rated 100 percent efficient for spending and student learning by Standard & Poor's recent study. We were as equally pleased that those responsible for that -- the teachers -- received their much needed and deserved 6.5 percent raise this week.

It's about time.

The Baldwin district has made the top of the Standard & Poor's list once before. It's always good to see that. Let's face it this time, though, what choice was there this year but to spend efficiently given the $300,000 shortfall discovered in the books last summer?

This year spending was tight. You've heard about squeezing blood from a turnip, haven't you? That's what was going on.

And who was responsible for getting that blood out of the turnip? New Supt. Paul Dorathy. We applaud his efforts throughout this whole ordeal to bring the school district along the path to financial soundness again. It couldn't have been easy.

That's why we were also pleased to see Dorathy rewarded with the same 6.5 percent raise that the teachers got this year. If anyone deserves it, he does. The nightmare he inherited when he took over a year ago had to be enough to make most people run. He didn't. He buckled up and did what had to be done.

We're glad to see the school board reward both the teachers and Dorathy for a very turbulent time during the last year. We appreciate the teachers being patient. Obviously, they understood what was going on.

We can also only hope for better in the future. Dorathy said last year that the financial problems wouldn't just go away. It would take some time. But, it's starting to happen and we're confident we'll make it.

But, there's still plenty left to do when it comes to money in the district. We desperately need new textbooks and upgrades in technology, just to name a few. A bond issue is on the horizon and we all need to get used to the idea that we need to do more for our schools.

As School Board President Alison Bauer said regarding the efficiency, it's good, but ...

"I feel like we've cut things down to the bone," Bauer said. "The negative part of this is we are efficient, but we don't have a lot of extras that we would like to have."

It's time to fix that. Educating our children is the most important thing we can do. Let's do it together.

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