The state has a message for the St. Johnsbury School Board and it is essentially this: Want your money for completing your new school project? Then move your superintendent out of the school to an office elsewhere.

The state doesn & #039;t seem to worry, as board members do, that if the superintendent & #039;s office is off school grounds the board must pay rent.

How does the math compute? No one knows.

What we do know though, is that the state Education Department gets failing grades for its lack of common sense. We will, however, award them an A-plus for the department & #039;s expertise in making things complex.

It doesn & #039;t take a rocket scientist to know that the state education honchos have come up with regulations and mandates that send totally mixed messages.

The department has made it clear on the one hand that the superintendent & #039;s office cannot be in the same building as its recently renovated school on Western Avenue and receive grant fund reimbursement.

At the very same time, the same state bureaucracy is requiring school administrators to complete more paperwork than ever before. The paperwork covers everything from special education statistics to the number of minorities employed at the school. Much of the work is mandated to justify the state & #039;s never-ending search for federal grants.

Since the superintendent is expected to truly know his institution - its needs, strengths and weaknesses - it seems logical to keep his office right at the school. After all, he & #039;s going to need access to all this data. The money that was promised to the school district upon completion of the new project at the former Middle School should be given to the district, as agreed.

As we see it, wherever the superintendent & #039;s office is located under this arrangement, students are going to bode poorly. The money that was promised could have helped meet their needs. Money that is spent to rent a superintendent & #039;s office could have been used for students. And if by chance, renting an office proves more than the state grant portion would have been, guess who & #039;s got to pay? The taxpayers.

So no one comes out ahead from this illogical state regulation.

The superintendent might have trouble generating statistics for the state to pad its grant coffers if he & #039;s too far from the school. Any way you look at it, someone is going to come out short in this bureaucratic boondoggle.


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