P. Parquette: Time for a change in administration

As a Lewiston taxpayer, I have been following the school budget talks for the school year 2014-2015. Superintendent Bill Webster has presented a budget with an increase of more than $1 million.

Each year there is an increase in the budget, always for different reasons: salaries, benefits, transportation, etc.

Education is supposed to be an investment in the future of the students. What have taxpayers been receiving for their tax dollars? In a recent Sun Journal article, Lewiston had lower test scores than the previous year — again.

More dollars are being poured into a system that seems to be broken. It appears to me that the superintendent's answer to the current problem(s) is just to keep wasting more money and hope that things will eventually work out.

If the School Department were a company that showed such poor performance, the employees would not be replaced, but most certainly the person at the top would be. If Webster were to offer his immediate resignation, it would allow the School Committee to begin an immediate search for a qualified replacement.

If such a resignation is not forthcoming, then I urge the School Committee to terminate his employment.

A few years ago there was a city administrator who was not working in the best interests of the city and other city officials had the intestinal fortitude to replace him. I would hope that such a group exists within the School Committee.

The taxpayers of this city can ill afford Webster's way of doing business.

Paul Parquette, Lewiston

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Comments

MARK GRAVEL's picture

"More dollars are being

"More dollars are being poured into a system that seems to be broken. It appears to me that the superintendent's answer to the current problem(s) is just to keep wasting more money and hope that things will eventually work out."

Who says the money is being wasted? I'm sure it is lining someones wallet very nicely.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Pouring more dollars into the

Pouring more dollars into the school system in order to fix it is like pouring gasoline on the fire hoping it will go out. Time to clean house.

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

The business model

I would like to know where you would find a business where the cost of fuel and health insurance is the same as it was 20 years ago. These costs have nothing to do with test scores nor does the number of students enrolled. And if you count in the number of unfunded mandates for special education passed by our state and federal legislatures in the past ten years then you would know why the cost of education goes up and up regardless of the test scores. I have to wonder when was the last time you spent a day in a classroom. Are you aware the norms for those test scores are raised every year. What was a good score ten years ago is a failing score today. Are you factoring any of that in or are you just good at reading spreadsheets. Schools are not good at following the business model because they are not making widgets they are educating our children and building our future. Businesses thrive and fail and shut down. They keep costs down to make owners richer. Is that really how we want our schools to be?. What happens when schools shut down due to lack of funding or hire unqualified teachers to save a buck and make a profit or teach only the smart kids to look good on testing and leave the rest in ignorance. Oh yeah that's the business model Not the way to give our children a future with upward mobility. For some of us that carries as much weight as saving 10 dollars on our tax bill.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

"I would like to know where

"I would like to know where you would find a business where the cost of fuel and health insurance is the same as it was 20 years ago."

China

By the way, it is not my job to give children of other parents anything. If those parents don't want to engage, well, learn how to say super-size. America needs burger flippers too.

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

My point exactly

We do not, as far as I know, aspire to reproduce living conditions in China here in Maine. I assume you meant the Asian China. Nor do we need to promote the spread of even more ignorance.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

The context is implicit.

The context is implicit. China is Asia China. China, ME. would be something else.

Lastly, we don't have a choice. Globalization means American has to do more with less.

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

China

Ok I had to ask because you do know China is a communist country right? Have you changed teams? Now they are the way to go? I don't think so. This is a country with factories that have the barbed wire pointed inward so the workers can't escape. This is a country that uses prison labor. This is a country with so much air pollution they have to wear masks and so much water pollution they can't drink it. I don't know of any state in America that wants to follow this example. Well maybe North Carolina.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I'm not sure where you pulled

I'm not sure where you pulled those ideas from, well I do, but let's leave that area of the body unnamed for the time being. Let's not be so pendulumatic (yes, it is not a real word, but it fits the situation).

MARK GRAVEL's picture

The context is implicit.

The context is implicit. China is Asia China. China, ME. would be something else.

Lastly, we don't have a choice. Globalization means American has to do more with less.

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