If it's bad news, tell us now

Would you want your doctor to give you the test results for a rare disease now or have you wait a few months while a cure is being discovered? Of course not. Yet our administration has been meeting since September to discuss cuts to next year’s school budget and won’t give us an answer on teacher staffing.

Should you look for other jobs? CEA says: Do what is best for you and your family.

A recent memo from Supt. Gene Harris outlined the problem: The school board has delayed a request for a tax increase until the fall, and with no additional revenue, cuts of $25 million or more will be necessary to balance the budget.

We are hoping that attrition due to retiring baby boomers will spare us. But this may not be possible. We have heard that the governor’s budget includes education increases, but now we learn that they are minimal. Harris writes, “CCS Treasurer (Penelope) Rucker advises that we have budget reductions in place beginning July 1, 2013.”

We appreciate that administrators and board members have been deliberating carefully. They have gotten feedback from teachers, classified staff and administrators. But it certainly seems that layoffs are imminent. Harris adds, “We are again looking at nearly every aspect of the district, including school and department budgets, curricular and extra-curricular programs, staffing, school schedules, facilities and maintenance, materials, supplies, services, etc…. We have no choice…failure to act now would potentially result in devastating consequences for our staff, our students and the district the following year.”

Administrators are set to decide by May 15. But we say, just give us the bad news now. Should I look for another job? Should I work this summer? Should I buy a house? Will I be able to pay for day care? Do what is in the best interest for yourself and for your family. Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.

We will keep you informed of developments as they occur.