Whew that Board of Ed meeting was chock full of info. The Pilot has had a few good articles so far which you should read. I wanted to give my take of the budget part here.
First let me say I am no financial whiz and not an MCS staffer, so my opinions are my own. However, I have spent the last 6 years with my nose in MCS business because of the funding deficits I saw. I stood up for Dr. Bob in the midst of those years because I thought the situation was wrong – not because of any personal loyalty to him. He and his staff are incredibly thorough in their research and planning – which is not to say I agree 100% with all decisions, but enough to keep fighting. My loyalty is to my kids and OUR community kids in Moore and I have been paying attention. The incredible value and education my 2 kids are getting is second to none in this county. If I truly thought alternative schools in Moore or my own home offered better, I’d go. And loudly. This is still true and I continue to fight.
The good news is that hundreds of county people have spoken up about the funding crisis in education. I personally have traveled Moore to explain this is mostly a man-made disaster courtesy of Raleigh (see here for the details of that). Unfortunately, moving the mountain of politics in the state house is slow. Thousands of people just like us are on their case too, but it will take an election to show legislators if they’re not working for public education, they’re out. They put off (NOT FIXED) most of the class size reduction expenses for one year (delaying the loss of 11 teachers, 3 school nurses, 8 digital education facilitators, 2 IT techs, 1 psychologist/social worker, & 1 school counselor for one year). No new funds or fix are in place for next year.
Now the bad news. Until the screws in Raleigh can be undone, our public schools still need funding by August. That means the commissioners’ county budget. That means our schools need our money. I’ve heard from every corner of this society that they are willing, but we don’t make the budget. The commissioners need to hear it again since they do. Here’s why: the proposed budget from the county shifts $1,502,060 from other county school funds (Peter? Paul?), while it adds only $559,777 in new funds. That’s good. It just simply isn’t enough to prevent known cuts (unknown what Raleigh will do in their budget for this year which, by the way, doesn’t come out until late summer and makes up 2/3 of expected MCS funding).
In addition to previous years’ cuts MCS has recently cut 2 maintenance techs, 1 accountability & research admin assistant, 1 communication specialist, 1 communications admin assistant, and the grants administrator.
So here’s what else we’ll lose unless we do more. In general order of certainty of being cut:
• Local teacher curriculum design program
• Funds for digital licenses/content and textbooks
• Planned expansion of digital learning to grades 3,4,5 with devices and 1 add’l staff
• Funds to repair/maintain current facilities
• 2 more maintenance techs
• 1 school police officer (SRO)
• Night-evening maintenance staffing (broken pipe after hours??)
• 2 lead instructional coaches (teachers who teach teachers)
• Teacher and staff continuing education courses (needed to keep teaching license)
• 8 media tech assistants (techs who fix teachers’/kids’ computers)
• Curriculum and instruction head
• 5 teacher assistant workdays
• Supplies funding to each school
• Maintenance funding to each school
• 2.5 school receptionists (brrring..brrring…)
• 9 custodians
• Human resources admin. assistant
• Payroll admin. assistant
• 1 high school athletic trainer
• 2 assistant principals
If any of these cuts sound like nothings to you, ask a teacher, administrator or staff member who will now be doing the extra work. Remember these cuts when the phone rings off the hook and emails aren’t returned because teachers/admin/staff are too busy with “nothings”. Remember these cuts when things break and take a long time to be fixed or when you are asked to bring in more supplies. Not what you want? Me neither. Let’s DO SOMETHING.
The proposed county commissioners’ budget is out. June 6, 5:30 at the Carthage Historic Courthouse is the only public hearing on their plan. Each signed in speaker gets 3 minutes, with a cumulative time limit of 2 hours. If you’ve ever showed up to a community talk, a previous commissioner or BOE meeting, read the paper or anything put out by Parents for Moore, then you have an interest in attending. If you own property, a business, work or live in Moore and/or care about the quality of our community, then you have an interest in attending. Representative government only works if we communicate what we expect, clearly and often. Here is the commissioners’ contact info to call or write as well. Help them represent us. Show up June 6th.