Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Will Sugar Shorten the School Year?

Sounds like Sugar-Salem School District Super Alan Dunn is floating a proposal among classified employees (and teachers as well, natch) to shorten the school year, as has been done in neighboring districts to save money.

When my wife spoke to Dunn earlier this week on the topic, it sounded like the idea wasn’t on the table. Whether he was just holding it close to his heart or whether he’s been getting lots of phone calls on the matter is something I don’t know.

But it is significant he’s talking to classified employees – those who earn an hourly wage, as opposed to those who earn a salary. They – cafeteria workers, janitors, et cetera) would be the most impacted by a shortened school year, as they’d see their hours cut.

That seems unfair – until, as we discussed last night – you realize these folks already have to count on finding other jobs for the summer as they’re not cooking at the schools or driving buses and such throughout the summer.

More importantly – and it’s a symbolic importance, perhaps, more than a monetary-saving one – the gesture throws a bone to patrons who’ll be asked to pay more taxes for schools in just a few weeks.

It’s hard to tell how much of a money-saving this would bring the district, but it at least offers the appearance that the district is willing to do what it takes to save money, especially as they’re asking for a supplemental levy on May 25, which will effectively see an additional $180 in property taxes tacked on to each $100,000 in value. That’s a significant amount of money – for us, it’s about an additional 20 percent on our annual tax bill.

I’m willing to vote for the levy – we’ve got three kids in Sugar schools, and if the levy can help educate them in the face of state budget holdbacks, I’m willing to pony up. Even if I didn’t have kids in the district and still lived here, I’d vote yes on the levy. Kids need an education.

1 comment:

Doug Byrd said...

Amen Brother Fweem!