Superintendent Metzler publishes a monthly Superintendent’s message on video. Here is my feedback on some of his statements in his latest release of Nov. 21.
Tax Rates: Who Takes Credit?
The school tax rates are lower primarily because of a windfall of returned money from the Local Government Center’s HealthTrust plan, and the fact that voters gave the district a default budget. The voters are primarily responsible for the lower tax rates.
Putting Kids First and Listening to Qualified Individuals
Superintendent Metzler praises our district for putting kids first. I guess that is unlike other school districts. From my observation about bloated staffing levels, it seems to me our district puts employment first and the interests of families second. Families have to be able to afford to live in our communities and we are squeezing them out with tax rates nearing $30 a thousand in Danville and Sandown. Public education has to be saved from its own tendency to self destruct by runaway costs unrelated to quality educational outcomes. I’m glad our superintendent promises to put kids first so long as that isn’t code for “Cutting the budget hurts kids,” because that is absolutely false in a district with almost as many staff now as it had seven years ago even though enrollment is down by almost nine hundred students.
As for listening only to “qualified individuals,” that is eduspeak for not listening to elected officials like the school board or the budget committee – your representatives in local government. If Superintendent Metzler wants to listen only to “qualified individuals,” I would suggest he reach out to other superintendents who deliver stronger academic results with far fewer resources. We’ve given him the list. He should check it.