Last year School Superintendent Staloch, Finance Director Julie Cink and the Board aggressively promoted a $35 million tech levy referendum. Following their full-court press, less than 3,500 of the District’s over 30,000 registered voters showed up to vote yes. An obvious conclusion that can be drawn is that there is lack of public confidence in fiscal oversight and management by the District.
Of numerous issues contributing to lack of confidence, one that became most conspicuous was disclosure that Nexus Solutions, the District’s consultant had been paid $25 million since initially hired under rather questionable circumstances.
While questions were being raised about prior specific expenditures, like $426,511 that Finance Director Cink authorized for Nexus consultation on AstroTurf, the Board seemed disengaged. Serious questions regarding fiscal management went unanswered.
Declining student academic proficiency (based on MCA testing) also deserves action, not excuses.
While a convenient response is to blame COVID, let’s not be misled. Factual data clearly shows student academic proficiency in decline well before we even heard of COVID.
Taxpayers deserve a new School Board, willing and able to address fiscal issues in a forthright transparent manner. Parents deserve a Board willing to give them voice in the education of their children. Teachers deserve a Board that provides them time and resources to teach core subjects instead of controversial ideological topics. Voters can fix what’s gone wrong, by electing a new Board, accountable to parents, teachers and taxpayers.
Wes Mader, 3348 Wood Duck Trail, Prior Lake, MN 55372