Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Muscle Shoals City School Priorities?/Another Sexual Assault

From a reader: 

A new source of revenue is needed for city schools to meet capital needs in the future, school district officials said. 
The Times Daily Disappointment again prints fake news concerning the need for money in the Muscle Shoals City School System.  In comparison to all the School Systems in the Shoals Area, how could anyone fathom the idea that Muscle Shoals City Schools are in need of anything.  You really expect anyone to believe that nonsense?  With the exception of Florence, one can see the needs of the County Schools, Sheffield and Tuscumbia Schools……but Muscle Shoals, give us a break.  Just what are the facts when it comes to Muscle Shoals City Schools and why has this financial problem just been identified?
Facts are:
1.  According to Mayor Bradford of Muscle Shoals, the City is paying the bill for the High School in its entirety at over one million dollars per year.  No capital outlay dollars from MSCS whatsoever.  

2.  And in addition, also per the Mayor, the City is now paying an additional $200,000 per year to fund the bond issue used to pay for the football emporium.  Of course they always like to throw in the Career Tech and Security issues but the football complex took the lion’s share of the bond issue.  Ask for the “actual” numbers on what it cost to build and maintain, not to mention the athletic staff salaries (that’s another issue).

3.  Would the Times Daily please provide a copy of the athletic director and coach’s salaries and supplements?  When the former Russellville coach was hired it was a package deal, him to receive a large salary for coaching only and his wife to be named an assistant principal…..$200K deal, not bad.

So now, let’s look at CSFO Ms. Sarita Tapscott’s “wish list” as she calls it...

1.  $10 million to construct a new elementary school to consolidate Webster and Highland Park elementary schools.

Just when did the BOE and school officials realize the need to consolidate Webster and Highland Park Elementary Schools?  This has been an age old topic of discussion in Muscle Shoals for many years.  MSCS needed the schools much more than a football complex but, there again, what were their priorities.    
This isn’t a “financial” problem, it’s a “priority” problem created by the MSCS BOE and administration.

2.  $2 million for roof at MSHS, $750K for McBride renovations, 500K for HVAC at MCMS, $300K for roof at HPES, $200K for HPES renovations.

OK, wouldn’t it stand to reason that a maintenance plan and earmarked funding would be in place to address issues like these.  All buildings require maintenance and periodic renovations which requires proactive planning, not just knee jerk reactions when something breaks.  A true maintenance director would have a preventative maintenance plan for all school systems assets in place and things like this wouldn’t be a surprise.  If roof damage occurred due to a storm, guess what, that’s why you pay this little thing called INSURANCE!  

State school systems are required to submit a five-year capital plan to the Alabama State Department of Education every year. The Muscle Shoals Board of Education approved that plan one week ago.

What has been MSCS’s five year plan submitted each year? Apparently it was done to merely appease someone in Montgomery and had no merit whatsoever.

Florence schools earmark just over a third of a penny in sales tax to school capital needs. That earmark created a steady flow of funds for the district's construction needs, and has allowed the school district to take on several large scale projects in recent years.

Problem with this statement concerning Florence City Schools rests on one simple thing:  “PRIORITIES”

Florence City Schools place priority on “academics” and spends millions to build schools for that purpose.

Muscle Shoals City Schools places priority on “athletics” and spends millions on a football field and indoor practice facility.  Oh yes, and a track that no one is allowed to walk on.

Also, Florence Board of Education members are elected, not appointed, by the people they represent and are held accountable by them.  In Muscle Shoals, no one is accountable for anything.   

I certainly hope the good people of Muscle Shoals will not be duped by these false claims of financial need and even more, the County Commission who are being asked to levy yet another tax on the economically stressed people of Colbert County.  Kids in the MSCS system are constantly having fundraisers to provide funding for the schools, so where are the budgeted funds going.  Drive by the schools in Muscle Shoals and then drive by the schools in Colbert County and neighboring cities…and then tell us how financially depraved Muscle Shoals City Schools are.  Muscle Shoals wastes more than most school systems have to operate on.  It’s time to unseat the current BOE, administration and possibly the Mayor and City Council if they are a party to this irresponsible behavior.  Get a group that’s dedicated to providing education first and athletics second and provide quality leadership that will direct MSCS in a responsible financial manner.  


In case any missed it, news of a March sexual assault on the campus of the University of North Alabama was resurrected this morning. A grand jury has indicted the alleged culprit, and it will be up to the legal system to determine guilt or non-guilt. Yet the university paid Nick Alexander from March until he resigned in July. Is this right or wrong? We welcome comments.


  1. Wanted to leave an "atta boy" on this excellent blog post. Says a lot when a blog post actually gives more information and actual monetary figures than that of a newspaper. Of course, there is no shame at the TD, just lazy reporters. Great to know someone is asking questions and delivering actual news. Way to go Shoalanda! (Are pigs flying outside???????, yes this IS a compliment from ME!)

    1. Thank you, Avenger. The credit goes to the Muscle Shoals resident who wrote it. We always welcome your comments.