Concerns about Lopez School | Letter

I attended the July 24 Lopez School board meeting. At that time the 2014-2015 school budget was adopted and superintendent Bill Evans presented his 9.6 million dollar bond proposal.

I see on the front page of the Sept. 16 Islands’ Weekly that nothing has changed since the July meeting. All the school can do is tell us what they are not going to do with the money. When asked what it would cost to plumb or wire the school, his reply was “no idea”.

So what the superintendent and school board are asking the taxpayers to do is give them 9.6 million dollars and they will pick a committee of people they choose and decide how to spend it.

Let’s not forget that on the front page of the May 6 Islands’ Weekly Superintendent Bill Evans stepped down due to” financial oversight.”

Let’s take a look at some of our school’s numbers. From 2012-2013 through 2014-2015 the physical enrollment at Lopez has declined from 212.69 to 193 or 19 students. At the same time the budget has increased $413,747.

These numbers can be found in the 2014-2015 Lopez school budget. I then went to the Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instructions website where they have all the school budgets for the state. I wanted to see how we compared to the other two public schools in the county.

1. Last year it cost $11,074 per child to attend school on Orcas. It cost $11,478 per child to attend school on San Juan, and $18,451 per child to attend school on Lopez. That’s a difference of $7,377 more per child than Orcas and $6,972  more per child than San Juan.

2. Last year U.S. News ranked San Juan school district the 11th best in the state out of 55 and Orcas was ranked 23. Lopez didn’t even make the top 55.

Looking at the numbers and being a taxpayer I wouldn’t give this superintendent or school board 9 cents to manage let alone 9.6 million dollars of taxpayer money.

Dan Kovac

Lopez Island