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LETTER: State pointed out possible deficiency in GF school staffing

The Grand Forks Public Schools needs to acknowledge that the time spent by Student Performance Strategists, also known as tutors, did not meet the requirement set forth by state law.

The July 10 memo to the district from Assistant State Superintendent Robert Marthaller is clear concerning the 2013-2014 school year. The memo cites figures and then declares, "Using the example and data from above, it appears Grand Forks has not met the intent of the law or has mistakenly reported SPS data."

The figures indicate that there was a shortfall of 2.58 Student Performance Strategists, personnel "that Grand Forks didn't have for 2013-2014," according to the memo.

In his letter about this to the Herald, Jody Thompson, assistant superintendent of the Grand Forks School District, seems to misinterpret the memo ("Grand Forks Public Schools not 'misleading' Herald," Page A4, July 30).

Thompson quotes the following passage from the memo: "We do believe [Grand Forks Public Schools has] been acting in good faith to report Student Performance Strategists and to meet reporting requirements as defined by the ND Century Code 15.1-07-32."

It took me a couple of reads to get it, too. Read again where it says "in good faith to report" and "to meet reporting requirements."

Also, if the district had actually met the Student Performance Strategist requirements, why would that same memo ask the school administration to "please let the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction know how Grand Forks will move forward with providing SPS for students in the coming school year"?

Simply put, the Department of Public Instruction sent the Grand Forks district a memo pointing out that the district did not reach the Student Performance Strategist requirement and asked how the district will fix the problem for the upcoming year.

The reality is that at-risk students were shortchanged, as C.T. Marhula stated in his most recent letter ("Did the GF School District mislead the Herald?", Page A4, July 29).

Rather than have the district's assistant superintendent spend his time writing the newspaper to deny what is certifiable fact, I would think that Thompson, the administration and parents would want him to spend his time admitting to the shortfall and recommitting to fixing the issue.

Collin Hanson

Grand Forks