Well said, Mr. Webb. And I must agree that is (or should be) our guiding principle throughout discussions of budget cuts for the upcoming school year. Yes, some difficult decisions will be made and nobody can guarantee that students won't feel the impact of those decisions. However our priority is to the students and the programs that improve their educational experience. All other considerations take a back seat and therefore move up to the front of the line when it comes to budget reductions.
A few thoughts about Tuesday's Board meeting . . .
It was good to see more and more parents in attendance. Rather than waiting for the last meeting in June which is way too late, these people are getting informed and involved now. I'm sure they didn't really appreciate all the rhetoric and posturing they heard on Tuesday night, but you've gotta be there to be in the game.
Speaking of posturing, there was one taxpayer who insisted on asking questions of the board and demanded answers. Nothing wrong with that. But when the answers are being given and you aren't even paying attention, but instead are talking to the people surrounding you, it tells me one thing - you aren't really interested in the answers. I, and probably most others, would appreciate if you just say what's on your mind rather than putting on a facade of objectivity by using a series of carefully worded, seemingly unanswerable questions. But if you insist on making your point through questions instead of statements, can you please at least have the decency to make eye contact when someone is answering you?
A few of the speakers Tuesday night actually suggested ideas on how to improve revenue or cut costs. Even if those ideas don't pan out, I really appreciate their taking the time to come up with those suggestions. Keep 'em coming.
I have always been impressed by the manner in which students, parents and staff of the Learning Center have defended their program, and Tuesday night was no exception. But when it comes to making a point using both logic and emotion, nobody has ever expressed themselves quite the way that parent Steve Young did. His speech was so moving that my words cannot do them justice, and I encourage you to watch the rebroadcast to witness his stirring comments for yourself.
And on a final note . . .
I had the pleasure of attending last night's High School Choir Spring Concert under the direction of Music Director, Hillary Rydderch. Hearing those wonderful voices and seeing those beautiful smiles serves as a welcome reminder of what matters most.
As Mr. Webb would say, I have to err on the side of the kid.
You can read the Courier Times recap of Tuesday night's meeting by clicking here.