Today we found out how our school district is cutting $40 million to balance the budget. We were all sweating, but in the end, I think they tried to be as fair to everyone as possible. We’re all taking a 3% paycut next year, but they’ve shortened the school year by 4 days and added 2 furlough days (most likely giving us the week before Thanksgiving off). They’re cutting 212 positions, but they should be able to take care of those by not replacing retirees and not renewing some temporary teaching contracts. (Of course, this means more talented young people will run screaming from careers as teachers. How do we justify huge CEO salaries to “attract top talent” but not understand that it would be a good idea to make teaching something other than repulsive to current college students?)
The district is closing a couple of elementary schools, but as they spread the students to other schools, they will do the same with the teachers. They’re also closing the two Outdoor Lab Schools, which is a very cool week in the mountains for sixth graders and that have been around forever. (I went to one of them back in the day.) It’s a shame, but they were a luxury. Kids will be charged $150 per year to ride the bus, unless they qualify for free or reduced lunch, and athletic fees will go up.
In short, I think everyone is sharing the sacrifice, which is as it should be.