A local resident sent the following letter to the Editor of the SNP. We do hope they publish the letter; we most certainly will!
I wanted to alert the community, especially those with small children in the district that no longer receive bus transportation, to the choices our school district is making.
At the last BOE meeting, a 3-1 majority approved paying 88 teachers to formally mentor 91 less experienced teachers, while also moving a very experienced teacher out of the classroom. While establishing a formal mentor/mentee process was a state mandate, the decision to spend over $165,000 to implement was solely made by our district leadership team. The state, at least for the next year will reimburse $350 per mentor, while our generous district chose to pay over $1100 per mentor.
Additionally, the district will pay a substitute teacher to fill in the classroom for the teacher who is now running the program.
All in, the taxpayers will pick up $165,000 per year to implement this mandate. Some districts have a 1:15 mentor/mentee ratio. Why couldn’t we have a similar ratio? Why couldn’t we pay $350 to mentors, so excluding the cost of the substitute, the taxpayers wouldn’t have had to pick up very much at all out of the general fund? The state set neither a minimum pay for mentors, nor a maximum ratio.
Let me remind everyone that when the district made the choice to eliminate busing for children within 2 miles of their school, the estimated savings was just over $300K annually. Now, when given a choice to spend $165K, the district chose to pay generous supplemental contracts to nearly 100 seasoned teachers, instead of a partially reinstating busing for elementary children.
As a parent who watches many neighbor children walking, in at times dangerous weather, I am deeply disappointed that staff compensation trumps children’s safety in Westerville.
Erik J. Zwilling