Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Cinfici’s Letter to the Editor about the Takeover of the Reading School District by the Berks County Intermediate Unit

           The Reading Eagle printed my letter to the editor today.  It noted I am a former Reading School Director.  Below is a transcript of my manuscript:

Your editorial praising Berks County Intermediate Unit Chairman Dr. John George’s administration of the Reading School District continues your unbalanced narrative of negativity about the previous School Board and praise of the new Board for bringing in the BCIU.

Because the BCIU competes with often less-expensive private vendors to provide education services, it apparently had a conflict of interest in promoting itself within the District’s budget.  Furthermore, the BCIU initiated an administrative hiring spree by placing its own like-minded staff and other hand-picked administrators in the already top-heavy District, without the Board having approved the creation of new positions, which violated District rules. 

Among other inconsistencies, you had rightly criticized the District for crumbling schools, but never credited the previous Board’s approval of an over $30 million renovation program for the most deteriorated schools, yet did not criticize the BCIU-led District for borrowing $8 million from the renovation bond funds for other spending, leaving elementary schools to continue to crumble. 

Finally, you credited the BCIU for the District’s $16.4 million budgetary reserve, without reporting the surpluses generated by previous Boards each of the last three years.  The surpluses disproved your criticism over those years that the District’s finances were distressed.  

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