Letters to the Editor — December 9, 2016
Reader: We are all responsible to kids
I feel compelled once again to speak to an issue that this school district is wrestling with and that is the recent referendum on education.
I have heard people complain about the district’s financial woes — the lack of oversight and transparency and the insufficient vetting of administrators. In my opinion, such issues may be troublesome but not insurmountable. What cannot wait, however, is the right of every child, no matter their origin, to be the recipient of the American promise of the best possible free public education available.
Our parents and grandparents paid to educate my generation — the Baby Boomers. It is time for us now to perpetuate this uniquely American cycle and open our hearts to the same children who we hope will bring education and compassion to us, as they will one day be our caretakers.
It is easy to make excuses, but to me this is inexcusable — to deny children who cannot advocate for themselves the investment that they are worthy of is a tragic irony. My two sons graduated from the Indian River School District, were accepted into their first-choice colleges and have returned to live and work in this same district. Isn’t this what we all want for our sons and daughters?
So, come on, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, neighbors and good people everywhere. When the referendum comes up again, bring your better angels to the polls.
I will end with my favorite quote from Thomas S. Monson, “No concern of ours is too small or insignificant. The Lord is in the details of our lives.”
Elling: ‘Time to drain the swamp’ in IRSD
We of the Indian River School District have quite a mess, legally, financially and ethically. The report by the State of Delaware Office of Auditor of Accounts, led by R. Thomas Wagner Jr., strongly identifies that we taxpayers of the IRSD have an overwhelming failure of the IRSD Board of Education members and the administration of the school district.
How close are the offices of Superintendent Susan S. Bunting and Assistant Superintendent Mark L. Steele to the departed chief financial officer? Twenty steps and no stairs? How long has Charles M. Bierley been a member of the Board of Education and president of the board? Longer than anyone else in the entire U.S.A. President Charles M. Bireley is an accountant by profession, and his name is on the private financial office located in Ocean View.
How is it possible for the IRSD financial organization and controls to become such a disgrace with all the skills and knowledge of the total membership of the Board of Education? Why were they not able to question and personally identify nepotism in hiring and establish policies for the financial office?
This is exhausting and extremely embarrassing. Our students, parents, taxpayers and educators do not deserve this mess of corruption and failures to supervise and oversee.
The sizeable IRSD monies ($52,843) donated illegally via the IRSD financial officer to other service organizations must be recovered. Shared corruption will be expensive for the IRVFC, the Boys & Girls Club and the Indian River School District.
Is there a solution in the failures of leadership by the IRSD administration and Board of Education? The IRSD is a large school district in student numbers and area. I believe strongly that the Indian River School District be split into two school districts in order to better oversee the equal education of all our children.
The present Board of Education has 10 elected members. The division of the school district could then have 10 elected Board members within each separate school district. Yes, this will create duplicate administrative staff and additional expense in administration staffing. Ideally, it will give each district a much closer relationship/oversight among board members, administrators, educators, students, parents and property tax payers.
It is well past the time to dismantle the present failures to supervise, financial theft, racism, nepotism and more in order to establish truly honest and vibrant educational opportunities for all our district’s children, young adults, educators, administrators and service providers.
The division of boundary lines can be accomplished by using the service area of our two high schools. Referendums could be presented by each school district in the spring or fall of 2018 if reorganization can progress swiftly. We must live with the crowded classrooms until we, the citizens, can change our school districts into properly manageable organizations. This process is going to be challenging, but we have limited choices.
Lloyd E. Elling
Editor’s note: Investigation is ongoing into allegations of illegal activity through the transactions referenced in the IRSD audit report by the State of Delaware Office of Auditor of Accounts. No criminal charges have been filed as of Coastal Point press time.
Reader wants Medicare protected
U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan; Rep. Kevin Brady, chairman, Ways & Means Committee; and Rep. Tom Price, chairman, Budget Committee, who is President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Health & Human Services, are among Republican leaders in the U.S. House who support legislation to privatize Medicare by converting it to a “premium support” system. I urge your newspaper to editorialize against their efforts to change Medicare to a “voucher” plan that will raise the cost of health care for seniors.
Just because the Republican Party has majorities in the House and Senate and the president-elect, it is not a mandate to destroy Medicare with a “voucher” plan to pay outright subsidies to insurance companies who make big contributions to many members of Congress.
In April 2011, the Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives passed in a 2012 budget blueprint a proposal to replace traditional Medicare with vouchers. This ignited a firestorm of opposition from Congressional Democrats, America’s seniors and the general public.
Back then, an analysis of the proposal by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) concluded that turning Medicare over to private insurance plans would result in seniors paying twice as much for their care, would raise administrative costs and would not keep medical inflation as low as traditional Medicare has done.
It is astonishing that after the bashing delivered to Republicans on the “voucher” proposal in 2011 that they would be reviving it again.