School District 52 in need of $1.4 million to balance the books.
If I were an employee of the School District I might wonder a bit about the options presented. Doesn’t “it’s going to be on the backs of our teachers and support staff” seem a little bit defeatist if not pre-mature?
Sure, Board Chair Tina Last suggested in an interview with the CBC that advocacy for more funding (an option many districts are looking at) was hardly a possibility for this district: “well the board and I would join the other 59 school districts across the province”… So while we’re waiting for the other 59 districts to get their collective act together before our Board joins in advocacy at the provincial level….
Maybe our Board could:
- Present a realistic needs budget. Nope they voted that one down.
- Every little penny counts. Why not set an example and at least try to pare back the escalating costs of the Board of Trustees? Nope they voted that one down too.
- How about re-thinking that rather expensive ‘succession plan’ and cut back on the level of administration to more realistic levels. Pretty reluctant to do that too if my memory serves me right.
- O.K. How about this one: try to build a more constructive labor relations environment and cut back on the legal costs of multiple outstanding grievances. (Cynical me 1: I am frightened to think how much money went towards the ill thought out attempt to ban ‘Yertle the Turtle’ alone. Cynical me 2: the Board originally made this announcement on the day the ‘Yertle the Turtle’ settlement became public – coincidence?).
- Cut back on the costs of consultant fees – let’s be creative and look for potential areas of saving without spending big bucks on a consultant to do the looking. (Been there done that).
- How about trying a little bit of creative problem solving by suggesting the Board recognizes a potential problem and would like to crowd source some suggestions? Why wait for the Budget process to begin to generate ideas?
Recognizing a problem is great…especially when there is time to explore potential solutions. Shutting the door on possibilities…not so great.
So…any other ideas out there?..Let’s be creative and thoughtful….