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School budget cuts – time for a reality check

Hearing the latest reports about looming budget cuts for the Brookings-Harbor School  Board, the first reaction might be to go directly to the school board and demand they don’t make any more cuts.

We appreciate the sentiment, but that action is not based on reality – and would be a waste of everybody’s time.

The reality is, Oregon’s public school system is in crisis. Budget shortfalls are forcing schools to make unprecedented cuts.

The Brookings-Harbor School District has begun the painful process of developing a budget for the 2011-12 school year. We don’t envy them.

The district, which has been losing money the past few years as the state continues to cut funding, faces, at the least, a $1 million shortfall for the next school year.  School officials have no choice but to consider cutting school days and staff.

The school budget crisis is an inherently emotional and adversarial phenomenon. It demands that people from all sides of the issue remain calm, collected and willing to consider all options.

An “us versus them” approach benefits nobody – especially our children.

We encourage all school district personnel and members of the community to learn about the budget crisis, the potential options and, most importantly, weigh in on what the priorities should be.

You can do this by attending regular school board meetings and any scheduled budget workshops.

The reality is, don’t complain about the situation. Step up and offer support – and insightful suggestions – to make the reality a little less painful.


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