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CARE chairman proposes cost-cutting ideas


April 27, 2005 - To the editor:

The Lindbergh Board of Education continues to claim that "they only took the taxes they needed'' and yet somehow they have managed to amass more than $22.25 million of reserves and now the administration has announced the layoff of 14 teachers.

Was the message sent by the voters with the defeat of Proposition A misunderstood? Continue to provide an award-winning education to our children and live within your budget.

Instead of announcing the layoff of teachers, how about a salary freeze, a raise in medical and property insurance deduc-tibles, a reduction in administrators or their lucrative compensation packages, a review of the pension fund and sick leave, a reduction in the number of vehicles in the motor pool, renegotiation of district contracts with outside vendors, etc.

As parents in the district, my wife and I have always supported "user fees'' for extracurricular activities — sports, band, field trips, etc. Increase the cost of school lunches, reduce the numbers of fliers sent home with the children — hundreds — raise the parking fee, charge for the use of school facilities for flea markets, art fairs, fund-raisers, etc.

Eliminate "common-sense'' waste such as air conditioners running all weekend or doors propped open during winter. Reduce the number of security lights and put them on timers so they actually go off at daylight, etc.

And finally if after every perk and waste has been eliminated, spend some of those reserves on education — not compensation.

Superintendent James Sandfort continues to claim that the children's education is his primary goal. With a 34 percent salary increase since 2001, I wonder what voluntary reduction in his $160,000-plus compensation package he has offered to those children.

James Smoot, chairman

Citizens' Association for Responsible Education

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