“Not to worry, it’s not real money, it’s public money!”
A letter to the editor of the State Newspaper.
“District 5 has problem with openness”
“I read with interest school board chairman Robert Gantt’s op-ed (“Community supports District 5 building plan,” June 24) in which he said Lexington-Richland 5 made enrollment information available to voters before the referendum.
“For more than a year, the district told us enrollment was growing fast. At one point, the administration told us growth would be between 300-800 students annually. That’s growth you can look around and see, and because many residents looked around and didn’t see it, we questioned their figures.
“When this past year’s student enrollment count came out, a group of residents wrote the superintendent requesting the information. On Oct. 17, several residents filed a Freedom of Information Act request, which asked the district for the enrollment. Not a hard question, right?
“How eager was the district to let voters know whether enrollment had decreased or increased? Well, District 5 waited until after the Nov. 4 referendum to respond to the request, which should have taken just a few keystrokes to answer. (This is despite the fact that the group e-mailed several times in the interim to ask about the delay in answering this simple question.)
“It was several days after the referendum that the district answered our question, and we learned that enrollment had decreased by more than 150 students. It was shortly afterward we learned the administration is having to lay off teachers, because it had over-staffed. It overstaffed because, either intentionally or not, it had used inaccurate growth predictions to justify the bond referendum.”
WAYNE DUNCAN of Chapin
Read more about Richland/Lexington District Five’s funny numbers here.