To the Editor:
Just because it doesn’t come from the Bessemer superintendent’s office doesn’t mean its propaganda. Superintendent Dave Radovich has been stating from the beginning that Bessemer student count has not been going down, but actually increasing. Well, here are some facts he doesn’t share with you.
Here are the enrollment numbers for Bessemer Area Schools for the 2013-2014 school year. Please take note that these are audited numbers. This means that these are the numbers that their funding is based on.
Fall 2013: 447.97.
Spring 2014: 442.98.
So, the student count is going down, along with funding.
Radovich stated at the last school board meeting that both school districts are soaring academically. Here are the facts. Bessemer Area schools ranked in the 57th percentile in 2012-13, down from the 64th percentile in 2011-12. And Wakefield-Marenisco was ranked in the 8th percentile in 2012-’13, down from the 22nd percentile in 2011-12.
According to 2013-14 MEAP results for science, 42.9 percent of Bessemer fifth graders are partially proficient and 39.3 percent are not proficient. And 36.4 percent of the eighth grade are partially proficient and 45.5 percent not proficient.
Now the school boards want to delay the vote, pay attorneys and possibly pay for the printing of ballots, only to come back and form a consolidation committee and bring back a vote at a later date. More fiscal irresponsibility.
Radovich said, “I would really be surprised if both boards didn’t bring back a citizen committee to look into a consolidation plan and bring it back to the people in a time-line.”
Radovich also fails to mention the process is the same in consolidation of schools, no matter if it is by citizen petition or by school board resolution. The Gogebic-Ontonagon Intermediate School District still appoints a new board and the new board makes the decisions on the new district, including staffing and building use.
The school boards have had since November 2013 to get on board with consolidation. Maybe the best thing Radovich could do for the Bessemer Area School District would be to retire so the board could look at sharing a superintendent.