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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: NYM school is the heart of the community

To the editor:

Over the last few weeks, I have been concerned about our school district budget. The future of our school and community evolves around our decisions on how and why we decide the budget cuts. As a taxpayer of this district one of the most important issues I'm concerned with is our student enrollment and also our open enrollment, as the latter have chosen to come to this school. How do we keep and gain future students is a question we need to focus on and answer before we start cutting our staff. I have listened and read statements made about cutting and still have a reserve of $150,000. I understand that we need to make reductions but how and where we make these cuts is a huge concern of mine.

I'll explain myself in this way, if I were a parent of a student, I would be looking at what this school has to offer me for my children in their future education. Example: cutting important reading programs in the elementary is wrong, wrong, wrong! This is the time when children need that extra help. Cutting teachers whom are essential to the children's education in their development does not solve the problem. We are worried about our math, reading and test scores but cutting these programs will only make them worse and the result could be less funding for the school.

Another important issue: reducing custodial and secretarial hours. Where is the logic and what kind of a reduction is this when you cut a 30-year elementary secretary's hours and replace her with another secretary? Good secretaries are the heartbeat of the school and without them we are losing our essential communication between students, parents and teachers. These are important issues we need to address when we make our decisions and then ask our self, how is our final decision going to influence not only the school but also the community?

Are we really saving money in the end when we make decisions in cutting programs that children need or our communication person two hours or our teachers to teach our future leaders? I don't think so. We need to invest our energy in saving these positions to the best of our ability because New York Mills School District 553 is worth the effort.

This now brings me to wondering what ever happened to our community committee that was supposed to have been formed and could be helping to solve these reduction issues. I feel we are making some drastic mistakes for the future of our school. People say if we do not have "Lunds", we do not have a community. They are wrong. If we lose our school from drastic mistakes in budget cuts, we will lose our community. New York Mills School District 553 is the heart of the community.

Irene Sandback

New York Mills