The school board is claiming that there is a $1.6 million shortfall in the budget for next year. However, they have not provided any proof as to how they came up with these numbers. Due to the supposed $1.6 million shortfall, the board has proposed the following cuts: cutting up to 11 positions, cutting insurance benefits for district employees, cutting programs, as well as other things.
The proposed cuts are a big concern to me. Here are some examples of the cuts I am most concerned about and which I feel that these cuts are not a good idea.
First of all, cutting teaching positions would result in increased class sizes. That would mean less time that teachers have to spend with each student. If insurance benefits are cut, this will create hardships for teachers and support staff and their families. Our school district currently provides good insurance, and there are employees who work for the Grangeville school district largely because of the insurance benefits that are provided. I fear that if similar benefits are not provided in the future, good teachers and support staff will leave the district due to inability to afford medical expenses. Finally, programs help to provide our students with a well-rounded education. These programs such as art, music, physical education and sports provide opportunities for students to be successful, in addition to what the students experience in their regular classroom. They grow character, expand students’ knowledge beyond the three ‘r’s and open up opportunities for students to develop a creative side, as well as learn important aspects of working together in teams. A loss of these programs would be devastating, not only to the students, but to the community as a whole. It’s the school concerts and sporting events that bring the community together, and parents are often proud to see their kids’ art work posted in school hallways and in the paper.
If you are troubled by the proposed cuts like many in the community are, please come to the school board meetings and community meetings being held on this topic to get informed and voice your concerns.