Letter: Taxpayers, students deserve more transparent school system

To the Editor:

First, we would like to express our admiration for Ridgefield High School senior Paul Kim, who had the courage to present to the Board of Education his findings of our school superintendent, Karen Baldwin, plagiarizing other authors in board documents and letters to parents under her signature. Kim persisted in exposing the superintendent’s dishonesty, even though the Board of Education told him he could not present this information at their meeting.  

Kim and all our students deserve complete honesty and respect from the adults in their lives.

Second, we appreciate the Editorial in the March 15 issue of The Ridgefield Press pointing out “the tortured bureaucratic jargon that” dominates school board meetings, and wondered why the Board of Education did not see this “edu-babble” as a red flag. We, too, hope those who evaluate possible new school superintendents will be far more intelligent and discerning going forward.

This former school superintendent and school board refused to cooperate with the finance board’s stated ceiling of no greater increase in budget than 2.5%, both this year and last year!  

Baldwin threatened to fire English and other teachers, but never suggested reducing the untold numbers of administrators and “para-staff” which in many of our schools outnumber the teachers.  

Just look into each school’s website and count the number of teachers as compared to staff.  We have asked for years why the high school principal needs four assistant principals and four deans. Karen Baldwin even suggested the school system hire consultants to improve the teachers!

Instead, we feel there is the need for an overall Efficiency Study Consultant to review what appears to be a heavily overstaffed — and highly paid — school system administration. All of us Ridgefield taxpayers, and students, deserve a far more efficient and honestly transparent school system.

Catherine A. Sementini and Raymond L. Sementini

Old Wagon Road, March 19