Click on the post to read about the latest small local school district to face excruciating choices in the budget wars. Parkview District is reluctant to destroy "family feeling" in their small elementary school by consolidating schools that are half empty with one another.
OK, OK, so it's not my district. But these people are asking taxpayers to do what they themselves probably would not do if it was their own money. Is "maintaining a family feeling" worth more than ensuring the best possible education for your kid? Really?!? The district is nearly half a million in the red, seeking federal funds for relief and yet there is a SMART board in every classroom. I know, I know, they were a PTO donation. But that 5 grand was misspent, in my opinion. These interactive whiteboards are coveted in the ESCD. They are parceled out with great care and, I might add, rarely. They are expensive and require a great deal of training for teachers to get the most benefit from them. How much money did Parkview have to spend to train the teachers? Or did they just present them and leave it at that? Are they used as glorified white boards? I don't know the answer to these questions, but I do know that a district so deep in the red needs to learn to prioritize. I know that that good old country charm isn't in the budget. When textbooks are 10-20 years old and outdated and students have languished in performance on the ACT, the district needs to tighten their belt and wise up the citizens to the realities of school finance. Things will only get worse under the new governor, who is intent on making a spectacle of himself even before he takes office. "You better not do this in your lame duck session or I will undo it posthaste." So do it you so and so. You don't have the right as governor ELECT to dictate the current administration's actions. And a little charm would go a long way in smoothing the transition. Threats simply raise hackles. Mine are raised, did you notice?
So, Parkview school board, please stop worrying about "family feeling" and start considering things like student achievement, in which you trail the conference on ACT scores. Think about how many textbooks you will be able to purchase so those kids can have current science information or even a book to bring home with them with which to do their homework. Make the hard choices and let the chips fall where they may before you end up a million in the red. If they vote you out of office, then their budgetary foresight stops at the end of their collective nose.