What's really best for kids?
I am responding to the "School's Budget Ax Falls" article that was printed on Wednesday, March 29. Even though I no longer reside in Worthington, I enjoy reading the Daily Globe in order to keep updated on my childhood home and alma mater. I have...
I am responding to the "School's Budget Ax Falls" article that was printed on Wednesday, March 29. Even though I no longer reside in Worthington, I enjoy reading the Daily Globe in order to keep updated on my childhood home and alma mater. I have been following with great interest District 518 School Board and Superintendent Landgaard's decision-making policies.
It is with great sadness that I read the most recent article on school board cuts. When there are comments from school board members such as Linden Olson who says, "It was asked what kind of affect these cuts have on students," and yet Superintendent Landgaard comments later in the article, "What I'm saying is that when you look at administrative cuts, it is not always what's best for kids," I wonder if the school board and superintendent have a good grasp on the community of Worthington. Is it a matter of semantics? Hmm ... let's see ... administrative cuts are considered: an assistant (special programs director), a building and grounds position and a coordinator? This is 25 percent of the cuts, Mr. Landgaard? These are administrative?
Oh, and to the topic of children. I was to believe that Worthington has the largest (or one of the largest) elementary schools in the state of Minnesota. So, with budget cuts, if I understand it correctly, Worthington will be left with one media center specialist/librarian for the entire district 518? Isn't reading a universal requirement and need? When it is asked what impact this will have on students, is this impact not realized by the decision makers in Worthington? Additionally, there are many teacher cuts from the elementary and Middle School that will have a tremendous effect on students' success.
Then, the line item that was unanimously voted on: Discontinue Minnesota West auto mechanics course offerings at WHS and reduce the costs for post-secondary enrollment options. Putting aside the consistently high number of students that are enrolled in this program and the success the program has had over the years, I can see why you cut it. I realize people aren't concerned with vehicle maintenance anymore or real world-life skills, correct? Plus, technical preparation doesn't mean anything because everyone goes to college and works in an office or major corporation in today's world, correct? There is no need for "hands-on work" experience, or least not in Worthington. Or as the philosopher George Santayana said, "The great difficulty in education is to get experience out of ideas."
The votes have been tallied and decisions made, I realize that. My hope is that the citizens of Worthington consider and question those that make the decisions for everyone. Oliver Wendell Homes once stated, "I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving." What is the vision of the superintendent and the school board? What direction is Worthington moving?
A side note: I do appreciate the board's wise decision to not spend money on a trip to Florida. Thank you so much for your wise insight on this matter considering you cut livelihoods. Yes, a conference in Florida might be seen as adding salt to the wound.