Didn’t they know it’s for the children?

I thought it was quite interesting to read this story about how the Holland School Board actually cut $1 million from their budget. Their reason? Simple.

Welk said the goal to cut 5 percent from the budget stemmed from a shrinking school population that had shrunk from 1,450 to 1,050 over recent years — with “no adjustments or response from the administration.”

The district’s population is down over 27%. People must be outraged that the budget was cut only 5%! Right? Not exactly. Residents [with kids in school] and (you’ll never guess) teachers and administrators are up in arms over the budget cuts. So here’s what I would have said if I was at the meeting:

I’m going to have a child in the district within five years, so I certainly have a vested interest in preserving the quality of the Holland school district. We rely on our schools to teach reading, writing, and arithmetic. We also need to teach them our children how to manange finances, logic, and ethics – financial lessons that would teach them a business supplying less people costs less to operate, not more; logic that they they could apply to see that a 5% budget cut to support 27% less students is actually a large net increase in spending per student; ethics to help them understand that while something may benefit them directly, it’s not always the right thing to do, as it may hurt many others.

This budget cut comes at the right time for a modest cost. We need to be responsible and scale back when appropriate so that it’s possible to expand when appropriate. Budgets cannot continue to grow when conditions don’t allow for or necessitate it.

That’s what I would have said, if I was there. It seems like school board drama is all the rage in Western New York, and Holland has had it’s fair share of it in the past year. I applaud the Holland School Board for making the right decision on the budget.

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