Thursday, February 04, 2010
I should start by saying that I'm upset. Not at weight loss issues, that's another topic, but at the community I live in. I currently work for a non-profit who partners with a local school district in Colorado. Our partnership is great and we do a lot for the district in return for space and support. This year, a new superintendent took over our district. This was not necessarily a bad thing but actually a good thing. He came in with new views and ideas and ways to change the learning to something that is more effective. However, this is not the only change that is taking place. We as a community voted a slight tax increase down at the end of last year. In turn the school district will now have to enforce a very large budget cut in one year. Starting as soon as next school year they will be cutting the budget $24 million dollars in one year. This to be is hard to fathom that these are real numbers. This is the largest budget cut they have ever done our last one being $16 million spread across 4 years was hard but I fear our current budget cut is going to be almost devastating. I have been reading the superintendents address on the budget cut and I'm upset. I have been asked like all of our community members have, to take a quiz and let them know where we as community members, parents, and school partners would like to see the money deducted from.
I looked at my options on several of the pages trying to prioritize what should be cut first, second and third in my own mind. At first there were questions regarding transportation and upping the walk distance for high school students. That I'm okay with they are all old enough to walk and in my opinion we could all use a little more walking to get from here to there to take care of ourselves in the long run. Then came money that was tied to everyone's salary. Either everyone would take a pay cut or lost X amount of people lost their jobs. I want everyone to be able to work so they don't fall in my lap because they become homeless but not everyone is in such a situation that a pay cut is going to be okay as they are only living pay check to pay check as it is. Then came things to cut for the students. Are you kidding we really have to take more away from students? Their educations are not up to par in my opinion as it is and now we want to take away other things that will keep them engaged and present at school? You have to be kidding me. I had to prioritize to remove all middle school sports, all low attending sports in the high schools, all elective classes that are not required for graduation, taking credit requirements from 23 to 20 and having a set number of at least 25 students in a class for it to be a class. In addition to also voting if I think we should charge more for sports (families can't afford it now), removing and outdoor education piece that we have all 6th graders attend and upping class room sizes in every grade! How can I prioritize these things? Removing such things would be almost harmful to these kids in the end. Where are the people who care and why aren't they speaking up? We have a gang problem in the south part of town so instead of trying to keep these kids off the streets and in school doing well and making something of themselves we are cutting things out from under them.
My son, who is 3 will be starting school in a couple of years. I have already voiced my opinion that I do not want him to go to a school in the south part of town, we live across a street from a school that is considered the south part but not nearly as bad as other schools. From working so closely with the schools I can clearly see that the schools where the children are striving are in the northern part of the district. That's where I would like to send my son. However, with all of these changes I'm not sure at all I wish to send him the Adams 12 district. But I feel my options at this time are limited and my hands are tied. Why are all these things being taken from our children? Teachers don't make enough as it is but they are educating our future president and doctors and lawyers. Why is this happening? I feel that education has been placed on the back burner. I'm just frustrated and I don't know what to do!