IUSD Makes Some Tough Decisions

IUSDThe IUSD School Board’s Special Meeting was standing room only. Teachers, some wearing ITA t-shirts, classified staff (nutrition workers and custodians), parents and community members, eagerly awaited the Boards vote on budget reduction measures.

The Board did the right thing by not implementing additional furlough days, maintaining Independent Study and not eliminating Campus Supervisors and IUSD School Police.

However, the Board did freeze all open positions, cut teaching staff and their benefits by 10% and agreed to collapse two schools. The Budget Surplus Advisory committee list was completed with ratification due at the next Board meeting.

Many teachers where outraged at the cuts and became unruly and disruptive during the meetings. When told they would be removed, they got louder. As a parent, this behavior, demonstrated by a few teachers, was troubling. When teachers are faced with unruly children, aren’t they dismissed from the room? We expect our teachers to remain respectable just as they expect our students to treat them.

Many of our schools are labeled as “Program Improvement” which states your child’s school is not performing at expected levels, therefore, the district will allow you to change schools and/or transfer out of the district.  Is that the Board’s fault or does this fall under the teachers?  When test scores are low, is that the Board’s fault or the teachers who are teaching our children daily?

With the steady decline in enrollment the Board is left with no choice but to make cuts in areas where needed.  The toughest cuts to make are those of the teachers but let’s look at this from a different perspective.

Parents and children interact daily with the school site staff, not the Board.  Parents and students regularly interact with the principal of the school, not the superintendent.  Parent and students interact daily with school personnel not district staff.  So, if students are leaving the district, at alarming rates, is it based on who they come in contact with day-to-day or members of the Board?

Although the Board decided to freeze positions and not outright layoff classified staff, these actions are accomplished with the collapsing of the two schools with lowest enrollment. So in all actuality, yes, some employees will lose their jobs eventually.

By the time the meeting adjourned we where able to ask questions directly to Board members and received feedback on the nights events.  By then only seven of us remained.

For a complete list of dates, for remaining school board meetings, click here.

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