Board of Education In Dark, Lunch Cost Up And Party Has Priority

Here we are the day before the next Board of Education meeting and again something is missing from the agenda.  The Fiscal Committee of the Board of Education met on May 12th and it was announced that lunch prices will be going up by a dime.  Should it be on this agenda?

Here is the direct quote from the minutes of the May 12th meeting:

“G. Blackstone said because of new Federal requirements, the food services director will need to raise prices by a dime overall to stay in compliance. Dr. Bernard stated the food services director would not know that this will need to be brought before the Board of Education. M. Kortmann stated the director will need to document why the increase is needed. Dr. Bernard stated she will add an agenda item on the 5/28/2011 Board of Education meeting for the food services director to present the information.”

So now the questions must begin;

Why would the Director of Food Service not know that raising prices requires Board of Education action?  Could it be because so many things are just done and the Board is told only after the fact, isn’t that business as usual here in Coventry?  Why would Dr. Bernard not know that the Board of Education does not meet on Saturday the 28th but rather on Thursday the 26th?  Why isn’t the increased cost for school lunch on the agenda?  We still have time for creativity so we can expect some excuse can be manufactured and announced at the meeting.  This is not rocket science folks.

While looking at the minutes for the Fiscal Committee one finds other items of interest, quotes from the minutes are in bold:

“M. Malcolm asked why special education instructional equipment will have a surplus balance of 70% of what was budget for.”  The answer was not available nobody knew why we budgeted so much and why it was not spent.  Does that make you wonder?

“G. Blackstone said non certified salaries went from a balance of $100,000.00 to $6,000.00 due to a math error on his part. He stated he missed a month in his calculations.”  Ok human error but to be off by $94,000 and not even notice it, can we have a little attention to detail here?

“M. Malcolm asked what textbooks would be purchased at the end of the year. J. Beausoleil answered textbooks for next year. M. Malcolm stated those would be on next year’s budget.”  Doesn’t that make you wonder how money is normally moved around without regard to the budget?

“G. Blackstone said there is a $5,000.00 surplus in telephone up from $2,000.00 last month.”  This line often shows a surplus at the end of the year, it seems planned and not a surprise, more like business as usual.

Word of caution don’t plan to attend the next Fiscal Committee meeting at the normal time and place because it will be “party time” and that has priority over the fiscal issues at the Board of Education.  “G. Blackstone stated there is a retirement celebration scheduled for the same time and location as the June Fiscal meeting. He would like to know if the Fiscal meeting could be rescheduled and if so, when. The committee discussed and agreed that Monday June 6, 2011 starting at 6:30 p.m. would work for all the members.” 

Doesn’t this just make you shake your head and say, what is going on there?  Just what is business as usual?

Tomorrow the topic will be what is on the agenda for Thursday and the importance of the meeting.

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Filed under Coventry CT, COVENTRY EDUCATION

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