Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Difficult Conversations

This post was written on Tuesday, April 5.

Today was a difficult day.  Three Sioux Trail teachers who have dedicated themselves to student success were laid off today.  The purpose of my writing isn't to blame; if I did that the list would be long.  My purpose is to call attention to the system and to let readers know about changes that are happening.

As you all know the Minnesota legislature has not completed a budget yet and because education funding is significant portion of this budget school districts can't plan their budgets for 2011-12.  In addition our Superintendent is sending the ISD 191 School Board a proposed balanced budget.  In previous years the school district has used funds from the fund reserve, stimulus funds or other sources to supplement the revenue from taxes.  A balanced budget is the fiscally responsible way to manage a budget, but it is tough when you see the impact of balancing the budget and /or lacking funding details from the legislature on the faces of dedicated teachers.

The process is much slower this year than it has been in previous years.  Around this time in previous years I would have been giving updates to Sioux Trail staff and then sharing details with the Sioux Trail PTO and our families about estimated class sizes and teaching assignments.  I do not anticipate any of that information being available for some time to come.

As always I'm willing to answer questions and provide any information that I can.  I would also encourage anyone who is interested to share thoughts with your school board.  These folks are the decision makers and they represent the taxpayers of ISD 191.

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