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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Proposed school budget cuts a concern

To the editor:

It is with great concern that we address the budget cuts proposed for the New York Mills School District. From the recent newspaper article we understand that the Elementary Principal's position and the Elementary Secretary's position plus many others are included in the proposed cuts. We are assuming this also means the Elementary office will either be eliminated or will undergo some major changes which we feel will disrupt the main support system for the Elementary students, faculty and parents. These employees have dedicated a lifetime of valuable service to our school district. They are a huge part of our so-called "quality education". We realize that the district has to tighten its belt in every aspect of its operating system, but we hope that every avenue is considered before making hasty decisions. We also hope that the seniority of all employees is considered and respected and an honorable plan is in place before any final decisions are made.

After visiting with people outside our school district, it seems that sharing a Superintendent with another district would be an option to consider. Also, even though the sports and extracurricular activities do draw students to the district, it is wise to explore cost cutting in these areas that have less of an impact on their education. Offering early retirement incentives to employees who are close to retirement age could be another option to consider.

If cuts are made to positions that we believe are vital to the quality of education we seek for our six children, who are open-enrolled to this district, we may have to consider other educational options for them. As with all matters, we will be praying that the Lord will guide the decisions of our school board members and administration in hopes that they will make choices to keep this a strong academic school.

Chris and Beth Roberts