To the editor:
It is unfortunate that the whole school budget cuts issue has lost focus. This is not about one school or building or a community being lost. It is about how to make these cuts while minimizing the loss in education for all K-12 students. A building does not educate, nor does a building make a community. Teachers and parents educate, and a community is made by having a common interest. We may not agree on the means necessary to make the cuts, but I would hope that we are all interested in educating all children.
With this said, here are some points to think about: First, this is not a one-year issue. The dollars that fund education come from taxes: property, sales and income tax revenues. All these are down, and this will likely be the case for a few years. Second, the ninth-graders are scheduled to move to the high schools in the 2011-12 school year; the same is true of the sixth-graders moving to the junior highs. What does this leave in the elementary schools? Open classrooms! Efficiently utilizing school space does equate to dollars saved. Third, cutting teachers, textbooks and extracurricular activities hurts the education all students receive, as these are the things that educate, not a building.
Let’s come together as one community! This issue, cutting $5 million from education, impacts all of our children. Lawrence is a great community; let’s work to keep it that way for everyone!