Merle Baranczyk’s editorial in Friday’s Mountain Mail could have been more informative had he chosen to ask the School Board for the information regarding the Crest, Strawberry Door and Horizon’s programs prior to printing. His inference that the school board was withholding information is unfounded and disturbing for someone like myself, who has attended school related meetings, and researched the issues.
When the Salida School Board made their decisions regarding the alternative school programs they seriously weighed the long-term cost and educational advantages and disadvantages for keeping them a part of the district. These programs will need to be funded to a lesser degree next year and will be self-sustaining in the 2011-2012 school year. In the future, they are slated to bring in more money than their operating budgets. This information has been readily available, and presented in public meetings on several occasions.
Adding these programs to our district provides alternative educational opportunities to parents who might not otherwise have chosen the public school system. They also make our district competitive with other school districts and reflect the progressive vision of a dedicated school board.
We all know that due, in large part, to a decrease in tax revenues, the State reduced school funding.
The Salida School Board has been tasked with a thankless, and very difficult job. They approached it thoroughly and thoughtfully. The fact that they were able to keep our full-time teaching staff is a tremendous credit to the district’s mission and their concern for teachers and staff. The cuts that were made were those considered to have the least affect on our students’ educations. This is not the time to instigate mistrust, but rather, the time to rally around and support those who have to make these difficult decisions.