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Letter: CCS taxpayers not a money tree

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Editor,

This is an open letter to Dr. Wahl, the Carmel Clay School Board and staff.

My family was happy to support the Carmel Clay school district by voting ‘Yes’ on Tuesday, May 2, regarding the referendum to continue the funding of our school system. Words directly from Dr. Wahl, “Without this funding we may need to cut at least 260 jobs districtwide. Academic programs not required for graduation and some extracurricular sports would also be in jeopardy,” were heard loud and clear. No one I know wanted funding cut, so we did our part to go vote and pass the referendum.

I preface this story by stating my intent is not to call out any particular teacher or get anyone in “trouble,” so I will keep some details vague. My point is only to remind you that “we the voters” are watching and listening, and in this particularly fiscally conservative community we ask that you not take our support for granted.

Last week we were at an event and a teacher commented on purchasing a piece of equipment for his department for $1,000. He then said he had purchased the expensive piece of equipment because, “Well, it’s Carmel, so I can.” And then he laughed, followed by awkward laughter from the audience. This comment, made only hours after we voted not to reduce taxes (to prevent teaching jobs from being cut!) was insulting and arrogant.

We want the best for our students. We realize CCS is one of the top, if not the top, school systems in the state. However, please know that we are not a bottomless “money tree” and we expect our dollars to be used wisely and judiciously. Am I stating that the $1,000 piece of equipment should not have been purchased? Absolutely not, IF the reason is to provide students the best resource for his/her education. However, if teachers are under the  impression that they can spend top dollar because, “Well, it’s Carmel, and we can,” they should think twice if they think parents and taxpayers won’t notice.

Thank you for your leadership of this school district. Let’s make Carmel the best not only because of our resources, but also because of the wisdom in how they are used.

Julie Markland, Carmel


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