To the editor,
Before Elkin Schools Superintendent, Dr. Randy Bledsoe retires, he needs to address the budget deficit that has occurred during his administration. At the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year, the emergency fund balance was nearly two million dollars. The emergency fund is OUR taxpayer money in the bank for a rainy day-our savings cushion for our students’ education.
The ending balance for this fund for 2015-2016 is $410,000 due to an $890,000 budget deficit. If the same deficit were to surface for the next school year, the fund would not only be depleted, it would be $480,000 in the hole. This means that staff positions would be cut-meaning teachers and teacher assistants. This essentially means that the school system’s employees that are the backbone of education, teachers and assistants, those who work directly with our students EVERYDAY, gets smaller while central office has become larger. The school system’s job is to provide the opportunity for our students to get a quality education not project highly compensated administrators. Dr. Bledsoe’s salary alone, $140,000+ at the end of 2014-2015 is 30% higher than the state suggested salary. Every dollar of teacher and TA cuts should be matched by an administrator cut-dollar for dollar. If cuts are to be made, make those cuts to the heavily staffed central office, not to the hands-on employees working with our children.
Dr. Randy Bledsoe’s legacy is to submit only one budget to the Board of Education, and they rubber stamp it, with no other options for consideration. The School Board and the community should hold Dr. Bledsoe accountable and not leave a mess for a new superintendent to solve. The new superintendent should be able to come in and set his/her own agenda. Dr. Bledsoe has created a mess and should be accountable to clean it up NOW. The current School Board should demand the immediate resolution of this budget crisis while Dr. Bledsoe is still employed. Where as the money gone? There should be a line by line accounting for where this money has gone and what has created such a discrepancy in just three years.
Remember School Board Members, you were elected to serve, not let the Superintendent run over you in a disrespectful manner. You should do your job or resign from this board.
John H. Charles Jr.