In February, administration presented a tentative 2012-13 spending plan that put forward a deficit of $1.4 million dollars and would lay off about two dozen staff members, from custodians to teachers. All of these staff members heard the words about their layoff prior to the public announcement and began the process of re-ordering their lives. Understandably, they expected the worst. Some had new babies and wondered about health insurance; others felt they had to put their houses on the market. Needless to say, all suffered emotionally. Now it appears as if many, if not all, will retain their positions. Based upon media coverage of the school district's financial situation, it looks like the Board of Education members have said keep as many positions as possible. Why did anyone believe that all of this upset was necessary?
What was the point of getting everyone in an uproar, if not an attempt to convince the Board of Education members and enough members of the community that exceeding the tax cap was the only way to maintain our educational program? It has been a long six weeks but finally it appears that the funding has been found, in excess monies in the current spending plan, in additional state monies, and appropriate use of the reserves and fund balances which were put away for a rainy day.
Three cheers for the Board of Education members who have scrutinized the spending plan so thoroughly! Finally, the students of the district won't have to suffer because of fewer services and programs designed to insure that they get a well rounded education. And the staff, who had been notified that their position was being cut and who suffered needlessly, will be able to get back to the responsibilities of helping their students have a strong finish to the school year. From this side of the table, the uproar was totally unnecessary.