At the recent Board of Education workshop, the superintendent was able to set the record straight on textbooks. He explained to the council members and the general public that there are no students currently sharing textbooks with another student at .
During the , one of the students in the said that she was sharing her textbook with a neighbor because there was not enough for the whole class.
Councilor Cathy Vargas brought up the topic during the budget workshop on May 3 and asked to make sure there was enough money for textbooks to prevent students from having to share books.
"We are trusting you that the students have textbooks and the proper supplies," she said.
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Vargas said in the previous year's budget, there was a surplus and she wanted to know why it was not used for textbooks.
"That concerns me," she said, about the possible lack of textbook funding. "I am looking at you as professionals to make sure that it gets done."
Winzler responded to Vargas by saying that the statement by the student was "youthful exuberance." He said the student was taking an honors history class where the enrollment had been between 20 to 25 students each year, however the class size jumped to about 40 children.
"A lot of kids changed into it (the class) at the end of the summer," Winzler said.
The school ordered more books to cover the additional students in the class and the students shared books for only a brief period of time, Winzler said.
"That (comment) probably did not characterize a totally accurate picture," he said.
Vargas fired back and said the comment should have been cleared up.
"If that was an isolated incident that needs to be stated," Vargas said.
Councilor Barbara Surwilo agreed with Vargas and said she is consistently hearing from other residents who are wondering about “a lack of textbooks.”
"The spin is very unflattering and it is damaging to us (council) and the school system," she said. "It’s kind of taken a life of its own. It needs to be corrected."
Surwilo said she did not have an answer for residents on why there was a lack of textbooks and told them that the council and board would get the item "taken care of."
Councilor Joe Kochanek said one of the officials from the school system should have clarified the textbook comment.
"The whole thing is damaging to the council up here, you folks (Board of Education, superintendent and central office staff) in a way and the town in general," he said about the textbooks. "When we have questions that cause issues and there is a reasonable answer to it, we all have an obligation to make those answers available to everybody."
During public comment portion of the this week, the comment came up again, however the statement was addressed and clarified by Mayor Anthony LaRosa.