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School Board needs lesson in Economics 101

To the Editor:
The Glencoe-Silver Lake School Board needs a lesson in Economics 101.
Given: Budgets need to be balanced and tax money does not grow on trees.
Opportunity: A teacher retires. School administration says declining enrollment would permit the district to cut expenses by not replacing that teacher. Savings over 10 years would amount to at least $500,000. The savings would help keep the school district’s budget in balance. How should one vote?
In the business world that is called a “no-brainer.” Not replacing a retiring employee to cut expenses is generally painless. Having to fire an active employee at some point can be heartbreaking.
Operating any business in the red is not an option. In this case, our school district is doing wonderfully well, maintaining a 20 percent surplus to be used in the event of an emergency. That policy of careful money management needs to continue.
So when faced at its regular meeting May 14 with the opportunity to save half a million dollars, how did our school board do? Regrettably, the board rejected the administration’s recommendation to eliminate the position of a retiring teacher by a vote of 4 to 2!
Good that at least a couple of board members passed the test. Clark Christianson and Jason Lindeman saw the wisdom of the proposal and voted “yes.” They get an “A” in basic economics.
Failing this simple test of efficiently managing our tax dollars and voting “no” on the cut were Jamie Alsleben, Anne Twiss, Kevin Kuester and Donna VonBerge.
Bill Ramige