Letters to the Editor

Expensive school: Hire teachers, not spin doctor

I am outraged that the Oak Harbor School District is planning to waste between $120,000 and $150,000 of the taxpayers’ money, each year, on a P.R. specialist.

What is the Oak Harbor school administration thinking? They recently asked us for more money to rebuild the high school, in a manner akin to a nice university. This was done after wasting tens of thousands of school dollars on design and building consultants. Now they turn around and tell us they have extra money to throw away on yet another useless administrative position. Is it any wonder our community continually refuses to pass school levies? After the last one passed the school administration promptly spent over $30,000 on a new phone system. I would trust the students to do a better job managing the district’s funds than these so-called administrators.

If they are in such a hurry to hire yet another specialist, then perhaps a professional auditor could be brought on board? They would probably have a field day slashing the unnecessary expenses in the Oak Harbor School District’s budget. I am thoroughly disgusted, and you should be too.

The amount of money they are proposing for a spin doctor would easily pay for at least four special education teachers and/or assistants. That would cover some of the positions which have been cut this year due to “budget shortfalls.” How many of us with special needs children have had to pull our kids out of the Oak Harbor school system this year due to the fact that there are not enough qualified instructors and assistants to educate them? I’m one, and I can name five more off the top of my head. This is but one area this money should be spent.

How about cutting one of the high school’s vice principal positions for school budget savings? There are three of them, after all. Surely, our Oak Harbor kids aren’t so out of control that they need that much supervision? There was only one vice principal when I went to that high school, and he kept everyone in line just fine.

While we’re at it, we could cut all the extraneous supervisory positions within the main district’s administrative office. I’m sure there would be budgetary savings galore after that house cleaning. Probably more than enough to rebuild the high school’s failing infrastructure, build a football field, and hire quite a few more teachers as well.

Why has the Oak Harbor School District become a cash cow for consultants and P.R. specialists? I thought they were in the business of educating our children? These are questions we should be asking of the school district administration. Are the administrators incapable of communicating with Oak Harbor’s community members? Are they that inarticulate? Or, could it be that they are spending our children’s education funds so foolishly they just don’t know what to say to us without that truth coming out?

Is it simply that they are unqualified and inadequate for the jobs they are currently holding? Does the Oak Harbor School District really need to spend $120,000 to $150,000 for a “professional liar?” Seems to me there are plenty enough of them in the administration already.

Tegan M. Ollie

Oak Harbor

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