Meeting rule still drawing controversy in Lyle

Published 10:48 am Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Communication was once again the big topic at the Lyle School Board meeting Monday night.

Because of Lyle’s new meeting policy, any public speakers must request to be put on the agenda at least 10 days before the meeting. The rule is something the lone speaker at Monday night’s meeting in Lyle is upset about.

Lyle resident Darwin Small asked board members if they are concerned about the future of Lyle’s school system and added that communication has been lacking, especially after the rule change. He doesn’t want the school’s issues to damage relationships within the small town.

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“We all need to stay friends and neighbors,” Small said. “We cannot lose any students in this school.”

Small thinks Lyle’s problems started about six years ago, and now he thinks there’s trouble with the chain of command and the handling of money, as well.

Several board members also emphasized communication, but Lyle Superintendent and Principal Jim Dusso said communication had improved the recent months.

“I’ve been in communication with the board every week,” he said. “If somebody thinks I wake up in the morning and try to take on the district, that’s not the case.”

Several Lyle residents were clearly disgruntled after the meeting, further noting the seeming barrier between the board and the public.

Yet board members acknowledged some of the same areas of the public’s concerns, such as the budget, and stated the school can’t lose any more students without being in trouble. But even though test results are good and there may be some promise for a new teacher evaluation process, things could get tight. The board must submit a proposal for a new 10-year levy by Aug. 22. With the state shutdown, Lyle is receiving only 60 percent of its $100,000 state allotments. Dusso said they will run out of resources if the shutdown lasts past next month.

Dusso isn’t worried about the school’s budget at this point; however, he urged the board to allow him to look for a line of credit as a precautionary measure. Dusso said more schools seem to be borrowing money than in the past. The board will discuss how much credit the school may need at next month’s meeting.