Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor: Nov. 30, 2018

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Dear Editor,

I read an article on the KMMO Radio website about concerns from some school board members on the audit petition surrounding Marshall. The petition is for a PERFORMANCE audit.

Performance audits, the public version of operational audits, are conducted to determine if an entity’s operations, programs, or projects are functioning effectively and efficiently to achieve goals established. (https://www.encyclopedia .com/finance/finance-and-accounting-magazines/performance-audits)

This audit is to ensure that the Marshall School District is spending their money appropriately. Thus questioning, is the district spending too much money on one area vs. others? Could the spending be wasteful instead of useful? It was also stated in the minutes that the audit does not review curriculum or teaching staff. That is a completely different area and is not what a performance audit entails.

A Marshall citizen who wrote to the Democrat-News and was published Aug. 17, 2018, stated her concern about the numbers not adding up on the new school proposal sheet. I agree with her statement 100 percent. The numbers do not make sense, and that is why a performance audit is helpful. It is ironic to me that the Marshall school board is questioning conducting a performance audit, estimates between $50,00-75,000. However, the school board will spend an estimated $20 million to build a new school.

In my opinion those millions of dollars the Marshall School District apparently can obtain without the help of Marshall residents, should be used on present school buildings. New trailer skirting, a new elevator and new lockers at BMS are needed. Having a new school building will be flashy and a bold move. Furthermore, it would help to contain all the elementary children to one location. However, a new school will create more deserted buildings. I was told the buildings could possibly be used as offices or storage, which is also ironic considering it has been said numerous times that these buildings are horrible. But hey, let’s turn them into offices.

I would like to see the options of renovating the current buildings. I did read that it would supposedly cost more to do so (about $3 million more) and some schools do not have the land to build on. It would be nice to see all the options.

There are issues that need to be addressed and it’s not all clear, cut black and white. For all of those who hold any office to serve Marshall, please listen to your citizens and stop making decisions based on own personal wants or gains. There is a biased agenda on the Marshall Public School board on the new school, which is being pushed hard. I am not against having a new school one day, but as of now I think there are other issues that should take precedence. Millions of dollars is a substantial amount of money, and for the fact that Marshall School District has that much money and has done nothing to the current buildings is ridiculous (excluding MHS and currently Southeast Elementary, which was something they had to correct). All buildings need upkeep….point, blank, period.

Leann Thompson

Stay-at-home mom of 6