COLUMN: Consider becoming more involved with the school district

— One topic of discussion at every board meeting from now until April is the 2012-13 budget. The board and district administrators are working to create a budget that will preserve instruction without burdening taxpayers. Because of the dismal economy, reductions in revenue, and increasing costs, this budget is shaping up to be one of the most difficult ones that we have ever had to develop.

We are facing a potential $5 million gap, which we will have to close by making some difficult but necessary decisions. We are looking to make cuts across all areas of the budget so that one or just a few programs do not take the brunt of the cuts. These cuts will not be arbitrary as we take into account all that our students need for a quality education.

In order to present the community with a budget that reflects what the community feels is most important for a quality education, public involvement is essential during this process. The board and district administrators would like your opinions and input on what you feel is necessary to provide our children with the best possible education based on the financial resources we have available.

At each board meeting the floor is open to the public for questions and comments during the budget discussion. I encourage you to attend board meetings to keep up to date with the budget development and to make your opinions known to the board and to district administrators.

All board meetings are held at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria of Durgee Junior High School. The following are the dates for the board meetings at which the budget will be discussed: Jan. 23, Feb. 6 and 27, March 5 and 19, and April 2. The board will adopt a proposed budget on April 2.

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