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Reynolds board has misguided values


Editor's note: The following guest comment was written by Donna Edgley, former chairwoman of the Reynolds School Board. Her comment is in response to the opinion piece submitted by current Board Chairwoman Theresa Delaney Davis ("Reynolds School District makes budget choices based on values," The Outlook, April 14, Page A8).

Values? Values? Really? How about showing your teachers that you value them and their work by negotiating in good faith instead of dragging this out over two years?

What does that say about the values of the Reynolds School District Board of Directors?

What is the value expressed by telling your teachers that there is no money for a raise or help with rising insurance costs while giving administrators a 2 percent raise plus other increases? I don't see that in policy.

Fiscal responsibility has long been a thorn in the side of the Reynolds School District, exacerbated by years of mismanagement and the apparent inability to count the dollars in the checkbook.

So the value being touted now is that your highest paid employees deserve even more money?

Seventy five people applied for the assistant principal job at Reynolds High School at the old salary, so that pay scale must be competitive.

I ask, what is the value being supported by giving administrators even more money?

The real value in the Reynolds School District is in the classroom: classrooms that are full of promise and have high-quality teachers in front of those leaders of tomorrow.

We used to value giving our children the tools they need to succeed, instead of having a full checkbook. What good is a fat checkbook when your kids are hungry?

A balance sheet of tidy numbers is not a value. Ending fund, unassigned fund, assigned fund balance amounts are not mandated by law. If they were, the whole house of cards of every government entity would fall.

And really, can we even believe those numbers? They still seem to be written in sand.

We used to value the partnership between our teachers and the district to give our children the best education possible.

Way back when, our ending fund balance was the joke of the area. But, we knew how to squeeze every cent out of that dollar and our value was in keeping teachers and programs for our students.

Ending fund balances are important to have in policy - as a goal. But to use that as a reason to drag negotiations on and on, to tell teachers there are zero dollars for them, but there is money for a 2 percent raise for administrators, is a value I don't understand or support.

I fear that Reynolds School District has finally lost its soul to a questionable balance sheet. What a shame.

Donna J.D. Edgley is a former chairwoman of the Reynolds School Board.