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School board

To the editor: Snow season always comes at this early time of year for the Mt. Abe (MAUHS) school board and once again they are spinning their wheels and skidding out of control. The policy governance model adopted by the Robinson School Board in Starksboro gives the administration a great deal of flexibility within established constraints and makes everyones job easier. The MAUHS board cant seem to comprehend this concept or just prefers not to. An item on the Oct. 7 agenda that was laughingly labeled Budget Building Guidelines actually became a rush to judgment and a straw poll to set an arbitrary percent of increase without any constraints or suggestions. Historically of course it has always been assumed that an increase is necessary regardless of the applicable surrounding circumstances such as reduced enrollment. The real problem however is that the board failed to identify the sacred cows that should remain uncut or even to suggest areas where savings might be found. NECAP scores in critical core curriculum get worst each year while middle management grows exponentially. Management can now simply come back to the board proposing serious cuts in critical core curriculum, sports and other popular areas while jealously protecting their own Sacred cows such as administrative assistants, teacher leaders and police personnel. The uproar from the taxpayers will force the board to very quickly toss their arbitrary percent of increase out the window and grant the administration whatever they ask for. If the board would only do their homework, they could come up with a set of parameters that the administration could work within and take the pain out of the budget process. I keep hoping the board will wake up and get to work but alas I also once believed in Santa Claus. R.E.Merril, Bristol

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