Closing McKinney Elementary not achieving district goals

Published 10:52 am Thursday, July 25, 2019

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The McKinney School Recovery Group thanks the 150 people who attended the public forum on June 8, 2019, and no police officers. Others would have attended but are afraid of being reprimanded if they voice their opinions which are constitutional and professional rights.

The board probably did not even consider the comments that were voiced at the meeting by parents, staff, and especially the students. We question the urgency to close it and of all times during the state testing window and no McKinney board member.

After seeing what goes on at board meetings, none of those student-oriented options that Chairman Blankenship praised Mr. Rowe on are being done nor has the survey. We assume when Mr. Rowe brainstormed with his two chiefs and others all that came about were: a 2% raise, a 10%-30% increase for administrators, extra day that was cut years ago for budget reasons, Mr. Rowe’s raise, and other phase I raises.

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According to the figures Mr. Rowe shared at the meeting, it cost $600,000 for the 2% and administrator’s increase. A total cost for the salary increases was not given for his two phases, but we are guessing $700,000 or more and will grow each year. A top administrator at the district office will now receive $22,552 instead of $5,000. Another $700,000-plus and part of the $4.9 million bonding potential was spent on roofing projects at Stanford and Crab Orchard.

Wonder what has been done to prepare Hustonville for the McKinney students this fall. Mr. Rowe is renovating his office and creating new district positions, which we thought they were trying to cut because of being overstaffed. It was not long ago that staff cuts were made due to the budget concerns. In addition to all the salary increases, staff is also getting paid attendance incentives.

We really do not think that the board has made good long-term decisions since we have bonds that cannot be paid off until 2030 on McKinney. There has been a decline in the academics over the last couple of years since Mr. Rowe came and three schools are in support and improvement categories and McKinney was not one of those schools. It does sound like the bar had better get raised quickly as referenced by Mr. Lane and Mr. Smith. The group is working hard and ask for your continued support.

Ricky King