Letter — Students need to be priority
March 10, 2003
I read with much regret the article covering the cuts in the school staff. I can’t help but feel we as a community are taking a short-term approach to the budget shortfall.
After I attended my first meeting with school administration in Meyers last fall it was painfully obvious we would need some serious changes in our school makeup to address the budget shortfall due to, at that time, our drop in student enrollment. Cutting staff alone would not satisfy the bottom line. We would still be short around $450,000.
It became obvious we would need to vacate a school to make a significant impact on fixed expenditures. This of course did not address the future budget cuts proposed by Gov. Gray Davis which made matters worse. I hope we all take the position that quality education should be our top priority. If we need to make the choice between reducing the number of facilities we have or cutting the quality of the programs offered at our schools, quality should win every time.
There is much concern about the erosion of the middle class here in Tahoe. Diminishing the quality of the programs in our schools will only further this decline. A school without a formal P.E. program, reduced music activities, elimination of many special education programs, and increasing class sizes does not reflect maintaining a quality curriculum. Let us focus our collective energies on reducing our facilities and the associated fixed expenditures, and begin the required steps needed to pass a parcel tax to insure we have proper funding for our children’s education. It is clear that looking for the state to assist in this effort is not going to bear fruit. We have had the benefit of a quality school system here in Tahoe with a staff of very dedicated teachers and administrators.
Let’s send a message to our school board that we will support the difficult steps needed to provide quality education in our Tahoe school system. It is the only prudent course of action to take for our children’s future.
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