I read in the Daily Record about the Ellensburg School District needing to cut $1 million from its 2023-24 operating budget.
Included were reasons the district cited for being in this position and a process by which the community could provide input into these budget cuts. The deadline for input is 5 p.m. Monday.
After reviewing district materials, a survey participant will be asked a single question. Unless you are a member of a previously selected committee, this will be the only time you can comment on the proposed cuts until the district presents the budget to the School Board. If you comment at that time, you will get only three minutes.
At a Jan. 6 School Board meeting, the framework for cutting $1 million from the 2023-24 budget was set by district officials with little or no community notification or input.
The district is in the business of teaching and learning, but that does not seem to apply to parents and community members. We have a stake in the process. We have a stake in the education of our students.
Assuming we have computer access, and assuming we can understand the educational jargon and budget information provided as background, our input is to respond to a single question.
In short, this is not a credible process. Please do not insult me by asking me to participate in a perfunctory process that will make no difference.
How about a different approach?
Provide a real opportunity for dialogue in school communities, meetings with small groups, with an opportunity to prioritize what is important to us. The district could educate the public about funding dilemmas and genuinely listen to their constituents.
You have smart and experienced community members who have more to offer the district than thousands of tax dollars. Waht if we put the public back in our public schools?