Sunday, June 29, 2008

Johnson's decision to retire a good one

This from the Harrodsburg Herald:

We were relieved to hear Tuesday that Mercer County School Supt. Bruce Johnson has made the decision to retire from his position in December.

Johnson previously stated he planned to resign in December, then said he had decided to serve out his four year contract which was recently renewed. We are glad he has given the matter more thought and now plans to retire.

While the buck stops with the superintendent in most people's opinions, the school board has to take its share of the blame for the financial state of the school system as well. The board approves expenditures and financial reports and should not have been caught unaware of the current dilemma. Any board member who does not have time to be thoroughly informed on the financial status of the school system, at all times, needs to follow Johnson's lead and resign or retire, saving voters the trouble of not re-electing them.

Since Johnson initially announced $2 million in budget cuts for the coming year, including the loss of some jobs, and a recommendation to cut teacher salaries to save the full-day kindergarten program, he, and his school board have come under fire. We believe the initial inquiries were justified, and even though money was found to save the kindergarten program and salaries, we believe continued inquiries are also justified. More and more questions have surfaced as expenditures are beginning to be examined in depth.

If any good has come from the financial state of the school system, it is that community members as a whole have opened their eyes and have begun to question items they should have been watchdogging all along. We hope the questions continue until satisfactory answers are received. The watch dog does not need to sleep, and the school board needs to beware of the dog. It can have a nasty bite come election day.

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