04/16/2011: "Justify Your Records Requests"
To the editor:
As of April 6, 2011 the San Juan Island School District has been forced to spend at least $43,000 and 223 hours of employee time to date to fulfill public records requests by members of our community. This is, of course, the right of any citizen, and the district is required to fulfill these requests. However, I have not been able to understand the rationale behind this outrageous expenditure of our tax dollars.
Our district has already cut many 100,000s of dollars from our budget in recent years, while struggling to maintain teacher jobs and quality education. What now must be cut in order to fulfill these requests ….and why? Surely the amount spent on this, thus far, is equal to one full time teacher’s salary. Or two or more para-educators whose job it is to help in already over-crowded classrooms.
One of the requests asks for every email the past superintendent ever wrote while employed here. He worked here for 7 years. Another request asks for every single employee’s work contract going back 5 years. And to what end? I ask this question as a concerned parent, tax payer, past school employee and elementary school volunteer for the past 13 years. It is time that this expenditure of OUR taxes is justified by the people who are making these records request.
ALL of our children will bare the burden of this loss of crucial funding dollars.
San Juan Island