Saturday, March 05, 2005

Free Press

As I read the Register Editorial, "Government assault on public information must be battled in tech age", I couldn’t help but wonder why Register Publications has withheld many pertinent stories from Dearborn County residents.

For instance, there was a seven car pile up on State Road 350 in front of the High School involving South Dearborn students Friday, November 19 and another accident at the entrance to the school Friday, February 25 involving a school bus full of children and a High School Student driving a Jeep.

I have to wonder about this. Especially since a Dearborn County Resident was quoted in an article December of 2003 as saying the State Road 350 site was much safer for Aurora Elementary students than the school on Washington Street. Has there ever been a personal injury accident on Washington Street involving a school bus, or a seven car pile up at that site?

Doesn’t the public have a right to know about the accidents happening in front of South Dearborn High School? Especially since another school will be moving to the site.

In December it was reported that South Dearborn issued $34,740,000 in Bonds for their building project. The actual total face value of those bonds was $37,920,000 and proceeds of the sale were $40,065,726. Didn’t the public have a right to know South Dearborn in reality borrowed $3.18 million more than published. Doesn’t the public have a right to know South Dearborn will be paying $1.768 million in interest for this debt in 2005, 2006 and nearly that much in 2007.

Does the public have the right to know South Dearborn Community School Corporation is in violation of IC 20-1-1-6.4? The corporation was required by law to issue a public document identifying material differences between their building project and Department of Education building guidelines. There are many material differences. Probably the most pertinent difference is the recommended classroom size of 900 square feet for elementary students. Aurora elementary classrooms will be only 770 square feet.

The corporation was also required to present building specification for the new building at the public hearing. They presented no building specifications. They had not even selected a site for the building.

Did the public have a right to know South Dearborn superintendent Tom Book banned me from serving as a volunteer in the music department at South Dearborn Middle School because I was opposed the building project?

As long as Register Publications continues to selectively report the news, free press in Dearborn County is nearly meaningless.

Karen Loveland

No comments: