District 10 CPSB member, Larry Ramsey, and his coalition win the first Gold Star Award for demanding that savings be found in current budget numbers, planning for the known shortfall in the 2012-2013 school year. Based on the use of the cash reserve, this year’s budget balanced, but there are no new sources of revenue and increased expenses are expected next year. The cash reserve at the end of this year will be ZERO. So what have we learned?
The issues are really simple. You have “X” dollars to work with and you’re going to have to cut the budget. The range of $15,000,000 to $40,000,000, based on current estimates, will have to go. And, if you think the janitorial, maintenance and secretarial cuts in May, 2011 were tough, you better buckle up.
Expected cuts will be draconian in faculty or materials or both. The Central office hasn’t even begun to talk real cuts at Midway. Some of the budgets address cuts with more than 400 faculty and 100 support personnel losing jobs. These affect students and the whole community for twenty years in the future. Look at other communities in America where education took this large a hit.
Dr. Dawkins won’t be around to clean up the mess. His name is on the finalist list at one or more school districts, where he will, for a short time, be their new star. (After all “They say” he has a new house to pay off.) He has a beautiful resume demonstrating his success in Caddo Parish, raising our test scores. And if you look at the Michigan success story, it’s even better on paper. Will anyone report that the emperor has no clothes?
We must prepare to rebuild a unified Caddo school district. Or are plans already in motion to pick out the choice remnants of a failed Caddo to build independent districts? Divergent interests can save our educational system. Waste can be cut. Whistle blowers who report waste must be encouraged. A divergent Caddo Public Educational system is characteristic of what has made America strong.
Next week: Lessons in finding the evidence & Who has been working to “Plan” – a novel idea!