Wednesday, April 11, 2007

School district woes all around SD 18

Checking out the local papers today, the schools were all in the headlines. Down in the far Southwest corner of SD 18, McLeod West faces the closing of the Stewart campus, relocating all school assets to Brownton. McLeod West faces more than $200,000 in projected debt for 2008. Two operating levies have failed recently as well.

In Glencoe Silver Lake, the struggles continue as well. In November of 2007, GSL will attempt to pass an operating levy. Two operating levies have failed recently in GSL as well.

The McLeod County Chronicle covers the story.

The cuts in the GSL school district are deep. 16 teachers will lose their jobs, but that still only cuts just over $200,000 of the $500,000 needed in cuts.

In the Dassel Cokato School District, cuts are coming as well.

The Enterprise Dispatch covers the story.

The cuts in the DC school district are not as deep as GSL, but will still impact the community.

The Community ED partnership with Litchfield will be dissolved.

An increase in fees for activities and admission to events will occur, including a parking fee for students.

The custodial supervisor position will be gone. Why do they always fire the janitors?

2 teacher positions were eliminated.

The curriculum directors position was reduced as well.

In total, more than $260,000 will be saved in these cuts.

Just outside of SD 18, in Monticello, cuts will be deep as well.

This is the state of public education in Greater Minnesota. In fact, Greater Minnesota is quickly becoming Lesser Minnesota. Our schools are always have to make cuts to make ends meet out here in the flyover/drive through regions of Minnesota.

We have all talked ad nauseum about changes to the funding model which will put rural communities on the same level as urban metro communities. Senator Dille spoke of this nearly 20 years ago yet the antiquated funding model circa 1970 remains intact.

I read the local newspapers weekly and the discussion of cuts across the board disturbs me. I had a great public education at Annandale High School. Our teachers continue to do more and more with less and less. These cuts have an impact on the kids.

The time has come to stop paying lip service to the issues that matter most to us. At some point, we must recognize that if we don't stand up and fight for what we believe in, we really don;t believe in it. We have gotten to that point on public education in rural Minnesota.

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