Saturday, February 7, 2009
We all have stories to tell
Our school district met in work session this week to discuss the repercussions of the recession on the state, and the availability of funds for education. Sadly, we learned that as much as $250 thousand dollars are being withheld from this current year budget.
Next week, the school board will have to decide what to do.
All over the state of Oregon, school districts are announcing plans to meet these economic challenges, from cutting the number of days of instruction, to wage freezes, to eliminating non-essential programs such as athletics, music, art,and vocational education.
Our district is in a better situation than most. We have a healthy surplus to carry us for a while longer. But, we have another problem: our enrollment is declining, and we must consolidate our services, close buildings, and dismiss extra personnel. Only after those adjustments, our revenues will match our anticipated expenditures.
Our current economic situation is having greater repercussions than any of us could ever imagine. The domino effect has just started.
I happen to be the president of the board of directors. Believe me, I had no idea this situation was coming down the pike during the years I have served. None of us saw it coming. I'm afraid, when it is time to run for re-election, I can guess a few directors will not bother to sign up. I wonder how many more families with children will move out of town, complicating our plans to maintain services at the present level.
Now, more than ever, we need to talk to each other often, tell our stories, join hands in solving local problems, and encourage our leaders at the state and federal level to keep working so reliefs can be enacted.