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Letter to the editor: District must release costs of IB, Spanish immersion

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opinion Woodbury, 55125

Woodbury Minnesota 8420 City Centre Drive 55125

In the March 20 Bulletin, Superintendent Jacobus's letter on transparency seems to be at odds with Andrea Mayer-Bruestle's letter regarding district budgeting. Perhaps the reason less than 5 percent of the district's population responded to the survey is the difficulty navigating the district's website and the fact that the survey appeared, disappeared, and reappeared quicker than an apparition. Is this the transparency Superintendent Jacobus alluded to in his viewpoint? An administrator who was transparent with the district budget wouldn't have put forth a set of three complex budget options that only its creator could understand. Parents attending the March 21 School Board meeting noted that Jacobus admitted to submitting complex budget matrix to remove emotion from the decision making process.

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Why did the administration allow 150 paraprofessionals and district support staff to attend a seminar on "how to get along with people" at taxpayer expense? Was the seminar more important than teachers who have a direct impact on our child's education? The continued employment of support staff and paraprofessionals who lack the ability to get along with their co-workers should be the question rather than the elimination of 22.5 teachers.

It is upsetting when our children are directly impacted by budget cuts that eliminate teachers and increase classroom size based on a complex budget model. With budget deficits looming, taxpayers should demand why the district incurs the cost of programs that benefit a select group of students like International Baccalaureate and Spanish immersion. If the school board and administration want to be transparent, let the community know the costs of these expensive programs per student vs. other accelerated programs like advanced placement and PSEO. Under the Freedom of Information Act, we demand to know the specific costs of these programs before a final decision is made on the budget.

Susan Richardson - Woodbury

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