Susie Makens: School concerns

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After attending the Steamboat Springs School Board meeting on March 29, I am very concerned about what is happening in our school district. There were parents that gave good information about ways to cut some of the school district’s expenses. Some parents were there to ask for the continued support of their sport. I believe everyone there had a vested interest as to what is happening in our district.

I heard how the elementary schools will have only one counselor for the 2010-11 school year. The gifted and talented program will be reduced to two teachers, yet they want to increase the student numbers in that program. Reading, physical education and special education teachers will be reduced, just to mention a few. What disturbs me is how some of our money is being allocated. Remember, this is our tax dollars at work.

To give you an idea, for this school year the English Language Learners have a budget of $247,640 with only 150 students. P.E. has a budget of $318,000 for more than 2,000 students. Foreign language has $324,000 for about 1,775 students. You do the math. For 2010-11, many areas are going to take hits, such as physical education. Don’t we have a problem of obesity in this country? I think studies have shown a daily dose of P.E. will increase a student’s mental performance. We will lose a counselor at the elementary level, which will leave us with one counselor for more than 800 students. Wow. Yet ELL will lose only one teacher, which still gives the program three full-time teachers for about 150 students. Some sports will probably take a cut. I don’t know about you, but the distribution of funds concerns me greatly.

Susie Makens

Steamboat Springs

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