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Thanks to school board members

March 13, 2012
Estherville Daily News

Right now, all over the country, citizens just like us are making some very hard decisions. They're decisions that affect people's lives, not just now but for years to come.

Those people are your local school board members.

In Emmet County, board members at Estherville Lincoln Central and Armstrong-Ringsted are having to make some very tough choices. And they need your support as they make them.

At ELC, board members are facing the reality of having to make nearly $600,000 in cuts in next year's budget. Yes, there were cuts last year. And the year before. And yes, cuts will have to be made again this year.

Meeting with administrative staff, ELC superintendent Tara Paul presented a list of recommended cuts to the board of education this past Monday night. Now it's the board's duty to consider that list and see where it needs to trim to keep the district financially viable.

While several of those cuts are through attrition, and having fewer people do more, some of the cuts affect people's jobs too.

The same goes for Armstrong-Ringsted where the board will soon have to make cuts as the district prepares to staff for whole-grade sharing that will start with the 2012-2013 school year.

There, the cuts will go deeper. A-R, like North Kossuth and Sentral, is undergoing a major staff reorganization, perhaps the most difficult part of the schools' new whole-grade sharing agreement.

No one said it would be easy. And it won't be. But North Union students and taxpayers will be the ultimate winners with the best teachers in all three districts presenting the best courses and the best curriculum possible for a school its size.

It will be the duty of the boards of all three schools - Armstrong-Ringsted, North Kossuth and Sentral - to make those very tough decisions.

And it will be hard. Students and teachers form very deep friendships with their teachers. Many students see their teachers more hours during the day than they see their parents.

Everyone should rest assured though that board members understand those realities. They're parents, and yes, they were students once too. And they care for students and teachers both - as well as the taxpayers.

And they'll make the right decisions.



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