The millage is not the issue. The problem is what the school board planned to do with the money. It was a complete waste. I posted a pretty hot-headed comment on the page above.
I’m not against a millage increase and neither are most of the people I have talked to about this issue. The problem is the horrendous misappropriation of the funds. $23 million for a sports complex, that only a portion of the children will benefit from, and will require an expensive upkeep plan, is a ridiculous proposal.
A plan so obviously asinine makes me want to call for an investigation of the administration; the board and the superintendent. For this plan to even be proposed, corruption has to be behind it. What kind of money can members of the administration funnel to their own pockets or their personal interests by increasing the size of the athletic complex and padding the expense of the expansion? I would seriously like to propose that the District hire an independent forensic accountant to make sure there is no corruption. When the cost per sq.ft. is twice the nearest most-expensive expansion, an investigation needs to be opened about the use of each and every dollar. How high up do we have to go before the red flags are acknowledged?
In the unlikely event that corruption is not a factor, it would mean they lack true concern for the students. The school boards EXACT purpose is to make decisions that benefit the education of our children. The kind of expense on athletic facilities (which EXCLUDE many students) does not have the welfare of the entire student population at heart. No other department is allowed to exclude students from their curriculum based on anything other than meeting prerequisite courses.
There are many ways to reduce over-crowding without the kind of rampant spending that was proposed. If you want to see how it works, look at poorer school districts in the state. Personally, I grew up in a poorer school district than my children are privileged to attend. When the buildings filled up, the district filled the playground with portable buildings. One of the problems we have in Bentonville is that so many wealthy people in the area either never knew or forgot what it was like to not have money. The athletic department is not the only issue. The cost per sq.ft is double Siloam Springs BEFORE the inclusion of the athletic complex. Are we going to build a school, with education as its primary goal, or a “Six Flags Over Education” just like “Six Flags Over Jesus” down the road? Both lack the conviction and substance of smaller and more thoughtful approaches.
So, school board and superintendent, what do you prefer we think of you? Corrupt, Inept, or Irresponsible?