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School board must reinstate MAL program

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Shame on the Alexandria Central School board. They managed to slither through numerous public school board meetings and into the school year with no MAL (more able learners) program, ignoring local children, parents, past MAL students all pleading to continue the over 30-year successful program.

A local taxpayer who attended meetings stated, “I have no children attending here, but why aren’t people listening to these children and parents?”

The board slithered out a program that had been voted into the 2013-14 budget. Already funded, never mentioned to be on the chopping block at previous meetings.

The retiring superintendent fulfilled his agenda showing no concern for previous or future MAL students. Guess we know who matters to the board.

Obviously, they are not here for all the children or taxpayers who fund our Alexandria Central public school. They’re serving the retiring superintendent; they bobbed their heads “yes” to his every proposal.

Yes to the third consecutive raise to his budget officer and brought back tennis, a costly program for a select few students. Yet, slithered through another meeting full of MAL supporters, ignoring our concerns.

MAL, an educational program already funded for 2013-14, brought a huge number of graduates and college students to meetings telling the superintendent and board they credited this program for their success in college. Axing this program will hurt and deny these special needs children a better education.

Only excuse the superintendent had was “we have the STEM program.” The STEM program, a three-year federally funded program currently is in its third final year, is non-comparable to MAL.

After this school year, STEM is gone; MAL is gone; so will the retiring superintendent be gone. I have this funny feeling he wanted to fulfill his agenda before retiring; this was more important than the foundation his hammock hangs on, the school children and education.

The children, parents and MAL past and present students were never heard. I say, “Alexandria Central school board, grow a back bone. You’re there for the children. Reinstate the MAL program.” The school and its teachers are awesome.

Come on, school board. Let them continue to educate with a 30-year proven, quality program. Bring MAL back.

Darlene Soaurwine

Alexandria Bay

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