Letter: Superintendent is hired to make recommendations
First, let me say that I admire the parents and residents who came to the April 28 open forum to speak their opinions about the new assistant superintendent position. It is not easy to dissent, but it is sometimes necessary. I want them to know that, while we may not agree on this issue, I don't question their intentions in the least.
The purpose of this letter, though, is to clarify that the school board hired the superintendent to do exactly what he did this month. It is his job to recommend a fiscally responsible budget that he believes will increase learning and strengthen our school district.
The school board appears on its way to formally accepting his recommendation, as we have begun to hire for all of the new positions created by the budget, including teachers and the assistant superintendent. Typically, this happens prior to formal budget approval in order to attract the best candidates. We can't wait until June to start looking for a math specialist any more than we can wait to look for a new middle school principal.
Moreover, I'm happy with the process that led to this year's budget recommendation. Residents could be part of budget committees that began working in January. We have a new citizens finance committee that residents and staff members have been invited to join. Our finance director gave budget process updates at board meetings, and we held a budget work shop on April 10. Superintendent Meeks listened to concerns and ideas and recommendations along the way, and I know they have been incorporated into this year's budget proposal.
In the end, not everyone got everything they wanted, and not everyone will be happy with the budget. But I have no doubts this budget reflects the goals of our strategic plan and represents a great step forward for Farmington schools.
Julie McKnight is chair of the District 192 School Board