Our View: School district’s turnover, lack of resources is unacceptable | CraigDailyPress.com

Our View: School district’s turnover, lack of resources is unacceptable

On Aug. 12, the Craig Daily Press printed an article about the high teacher turnover rate at Moffat County School District.

The school district lost 25 percent of its teaching staff at the end of the 2014-15 school year. The turnover rate was 17 percent last year and 16 percent the year before. This cannot be considered "normal" turnover.

The story also highlighted how unhappy teachers are by the lack of resources they have to do their jobs, which some outgoing staff members cited as one of the reasons they were leaving the district.

In their responses to the Teaching, Empowering, Leading and Learning Colorado survey, which polled more than 31,000 teachers statewide in 2015, less than a quarter of MCSD teachers said they have sufficient access to appropriate instructional materials and resources. The response stood in stark contrast to the 71.1 percent of teachers statewide who felt they had sufficient resources, and to the 2013 survey results, in which 72 percent of Moffat County teachers agreed they did have sufficient access.

We think the school district needs to take a hard look at its expenses. The district's credit card transactions are available on the MCSD website, and it's amazing how many conference, hotel and transportation charges are listed. In November 2014, our district spent $3,048 to attend the Colorado Association of School Board's annual conference at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, according to MCSD's credit card statement.

Why is the state's school board association holding a conference at one of the most posh hotels in the state when Colorado's education funding is in turmoil? And, why didn't we save the money and put it into the classroom? Did the conference teach our school board how to better run the district? We have a divided school board, few members of which seem to be asking the administration tough questions.

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Training is important, but is it more important than having new books or supplies in the classroom? Thus far, it doesn't look like it's paying off when 25 percent of the district's teachers are leaving.

And that is just one example of school district spending that's going everywhere but the classroom. Total district revenues have increased $1,230,889 from 2012 to the 2015 estimate, yet the number of students, teachers and classroom resources continues to decline.

After three years of high employee turnover, declining teacher morale and low student performance, it's time for school board members to put their pricey training to use and figure out why students and teachers are leaving.

We think our school district is at a point where the budget needs to be reconstructed. We need an outside auditor to look at the district's spending. People are starting to wonder about the budget and where the shortfall truly lies.

Editorial board:

Renee Campbell — newspaper representative (absent)

Noelle Leavitt Riley — newspaper representative

Sheli Steele — newspaper representative

Christina Oxley — community representative

Brenda Elsbree — community representative