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Another Proposed School Budget Cut! How Will this Affect You?

Seeing how past budget cuts have affected my children both elementary and middle school makes me think this latest budget cut proposal might not be any better.

Once again we are faced with another Plainfield School District 202 budget cut. Years ago when I heard this it didn't feel like it affected me but, now I realize with children in the school district it does!

WHAT HAS THE BUDGET CUT AFFECTED SO FAR?

We used to have elementary school band for fifth graders. My son took part in it and learned to play the saxophone. It was wonderful and it led him to now take the same instrument in middle school. Now my younger daughter's approaching fifth grade and does not have the same opportunity as he did. I fear she will not be interested in band when she enters into middle school. Budget cuts eliminated this program. 

When my daughter was in first grade, she had difficulty with reading. We did all that we could at home and still found it was a struggle for her. A reading specialist was assigned to her and within a few months we saw a significant difference in her reading ability. The reading specialist’s knowledge was invaluable to my daughter. She is now reading beyond her grade level and enjoys reading as a hobby.

But, sadly, the district has since cut reading specialists in various schools and again this year they will cut two more reading specialists if the proposed budget cut passes. How is this even justified?

I don’t have all the answers but I do have an idea or two. Take a look at the salaries that are posted for the public to see: http://www.psd202.org/Departments/AP/index.php?p=salary

I think you will understand why I am so puzzled. A few questions come to mind when I look at the salaries paid this past year. Why do we have two assistant principals in the upper grade levels, a dean, plus a principal? This seems excessive, especially in the middle schools.

If we eliminated one assistant principal in each school, put back band in elementary schools, re-hire reading specialists in all areas needed and any other pertinent teacher role, I think there would be a better balance in our children’s education. Just a thought! 

Here’s to keeping the budget balanced but also keeping our children’s education balanced as well!

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Lysa Heaton March 05, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Hey, I feel your pain as I have 3 kids in the district also, and all in elementary schools until next year so I truly hope 202 finds a way to make cuts without affecting the children themselves (cutting reading specialists in my opinion is crazy as the classroom teachers already have too much to cope with, without adding this role too) but to attack the principals for their salaries I think is somewhat ignorant. Unless you have grown up in a family who is familiar with what a Principal actually does, I could see that it's impossible to have an appreciation for the hours they put in, both during school hours and outside of them too. I don't know any CEO of any corporation who was in charge of close to 1000 people (and then some when you add in parents and other interested parties) and barely touches 6 figures. While the salary may seem immense, especially during the rough financial times we are all facing at present, in my opinion these managers and educators deserve every single penny.
Laura March 05, 2012 at 02:55 PM
I couldn't agree with you more.
Leslie Ann March 05, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Lysa- I was merely making a point that there may be too many chiefs in one school. I work in the school district therefore my statement is not ignorant it is my opinion. Thank you for your feedback however! I do value each administrator for what they do and how hard they work that was not my point at all. My point was simply if we can have that many administrators in one school we should be able to find the money for one or two Reading Specialists. I hope that clarifies my opinions without offending anyone.
Leslie Ann March 05, 2012 at 08:17 PM
Eyes on Plainfield - Well said!
Tim March 06, 2012 at 02:03 AM
"I work in the school district" Then you have a very simple question to answer... Would you cut your own job in order to provide the things you believe to be necessary for all? If you would not take the same steps for yourself, that you are asking others to have to take, then your point will not get much traction. Personally, I think the taxes should be increased to not only keep your job, but to add in the programs you(and I) think are necessary. People posting here tend to always want things both ways, and I'm not sure why more do not notice the immaturity in this line of thinking. Hopefully, more people will understand that one way or the other, they will have to deal with the consequences of their actions; 1)don't raise taxes and continue to lose programs and services that more and more people think are valuable 2)raise taxes, and begin to expand programs within the district as a whole.
Lysa Heaton March 06, 2012 at 10:46 PM
Tim, I think you make an excellent point! Well said!
Jay Iacobucci March 07, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Leslie, I hate to say it, but if Quinn, Madigan and Cullerton have their way the budget constraints will only get worse. The Democrats, who for the past decade have raided and underfunded the teacher retirement fund, have only one plan to get the state out of this mess they helped cause. Their plan is to shift funding the pension plan back to the local school districts. It's a brilliant idea really, they mismanage the pension funds and go back to the school districts to bail them out. Unless Quinn/Madigan/Cullerton are stopped then you are going to see even greater cuts to school services and higher property taxes.
Marlene March 08, 2012 at 01:32 PM
Don't keep blaming the school district. Let's take a look at Plainfield who does NOT have a solid business base to help pay taxes to support the school district and lessen the burden on the homeowners. Take a look at Joliet and Naperville, who have tons of shopping and restaurants to help support it's tax base. We have nothing in comparison. Maybe as residents we need to voice our concerns and push Plainfield to develop some incentives to attract new businesses that will generate some tax revenue.
Leslie Ann March 08, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Great point Marlene I think that is an excellent idea! I think the fact that we are talking about this is awesome the main objective here is not to hurt anyone's career or blame anyone it's to keep our children educated and our #1 priority. Whatever the answer is I am all for it.
Conservative March 08, 2012 at 05:56 PM
We need more cuts, it seems that the system and ranking of our school system is failing our parents and students. Schools make up 2/3rds of my property tax bill, why can't we live within our means? Besides if the schools were actually producing then maybe we could say yeah it's worth it. I vote for voucher programs and for the unions to step out of way, stop asking for money and start producing.
Marie March 30, 2012 at 07:02 PM
I have just read all the posted comments and agree with most, however; raising taxes icannot be the only answer. We pay almost $10k a year in property taxes and my property has declined almost $100K since we built it 6 years ago. The district has also did away with teacher assistants at the elementary level whic I casn't believe! My daighter is in kindergarten and the teacher asks for partents to volunteer to help. i don't necessarily mind that, however; one of the parents that was helping on a weekly basis had a criminal background! So if thats what we're going to get it's unbelievable to me! You would think the school would at least do a background check on these individuals! We moved here because the school were supposed to be so great, but I'm not so sure.

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