Appalled doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt after reading the article about Coach Sulkowski using the school district credit card for dinner at Whitey’s Fish Camp. The use of a school district vehicle for him to go to a weightlifting meet in addition to the school bus carrying the team isn’t as bad, but still annoys me. The alcohol purchase is more or less icing on the proverbial cake of wasted tax payer dollars.
I’m not picking on Coach Sulkowski as I can’t believe it’s a problem restricted to just the football coach. I’m sure coaches in other sports have the same freedoms, at least the ones that bring in the most money. The poor tennis, swim and track coaches are second tier. No free dinners at Whitey’s for you guys.
The discussion from the administration on down about lack of funds for the classrooms is a constant hum these days. I’ve been to Whitey’s and besides the fact it’s a heck of a drive from anywhere, it’s not cheap. So once you factor in dinner for three, drinks and a district vehicle you could easily be looking at over $150.
Take that amount and multiply it by however many of these dinners and trips are being charged and I bet it adds up quick. There are a lot of teachers who would love to put that much into books for their class libraries, supplies for science experiments, or to equip an entire computer lab.
What upsets me most is the people who have been tasked with spending our money wisely and ensuring shenanigans such as these don’t happen seem to be asleep on the job.
I’m sure some can come up with an excuse as to the need to spend money this way, but none of them would change my mind.
Too many resources are being put into our sports programs and it’s costing our classrooms and teachers. I realize sports are a good thing for kids. I love the fact we have a swim team at the high school and a baseball team at the middle school. I applaud those who have given up so much of their time to raise the funds needed to add these teams to the school district’s repertoire. But this unchecked spending is a slap in the face to those same people who have busted their butts to make sure the new sports programs are self-sustaining and don’t add to the “burden” of the athletic departments.
Some sports are obviously given a huge budget while others depend on car washes and bake sales to play a sport they love.
It’s gut check time for both parents and the district.
Jessica Prevatt is a married mother of two boys and the advertising/production director at The Baker County Press.