In response to the March 29 article, "District wants public input on cost savings," in ThisWeek New Albany, the New Albany-Plain Local School District needs to open its books and let the public know where monies currently are being spent.

To the editor:

In response to the March 29 article, "District wants public input on cost savings," in ThisWeek New Albany, the New Albany-Plain Local School District needs to open its books and let the public know where monies currently are being spent.

This has not been the case in the past. Even the financial review and reporting committee (FRRC) was not given a real opportunity to question expenditures taking place. There were many areas questioned by various FRRC members, but requests for information were stonewalled by the school board and district executives.

Several places to start in a search for cost savings include:

• Elimination of step increases in teacher and other union contracts in excess of those required by state law.

• Reducing full-time benefits for bus drivers who work part-time schedules (20 to 25 hours per week), or possibly outsourcing busing to a private company.

• Scheduling buses at higher than the current approximately two-thirds capacity, as well as possibly eliminating buses for the high school and those students living within one mile of the schools.

• Reducing bloated salaries and personnel for the athletics department and various athletics teams. Some individual sports have $100,000-plus budgets for coaches, assistants and other expenses.

• Reducing the $200,000 spent annually at the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts - over $1,000 for each school day - by better utilizing existing school facilities and using the center only son an as-needed (pay-as-you-go) basis.

These and many other opportunities exist to reduce costs with negligible impact on the quality of education provided by New Albany schools. The school district and board, however, must be truly willing to look and listen.

David Maul
Former FRRC member
New Albany