Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Painful Cuts

This Friday, layopff notices will go out to teachers across the district. This is tragic- there is simply no other word for it. I have reviewed the list, and personally know several of the teachers on it. They are exceptionally capable and talented teachers. In discussions with administration, I'm told that in fact ALL of the teachers on this list are outstanding. It is a painful thing we have to do, but sadly we have no other choice. We simply don't have enough money to pay all of our expenses next year.

To be clear about one thing- we are still considering options. The board is working towards a plan that solves for more than the direct shortfall this year. We want to think about the budget for 2011-2012 and beyond as well as next year (2010-11).

I don't know how we will vote in the end. The "cut list" was intended to be larger than we actually need to give us some options in case the financial picture gets worse than it already is. Still, even if we saved half of the teachers on the list, or half of the programs we're considering cutting... we'd still be losing valuable programs and talented staff.

I spoke at this past board meeting about the need to address the revenue side of this problem. We simply need more funding to offer the rich program our students deserve and our community wants them to have. To do so will require new revenue via a parcel tax increase or some other means. I hope that the community will support what we need. Our kids deserve it.

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