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More than $500,000.
That’s what Brunswick County Schools Superintendent Edward Pruden estimated a staggered-start schedule could save the district this year.
That’s the equivalent of about 10 teaching positions.
With financial cuts and belt-tightening taking place for the last several years, it made sense for the district to look at ways to cut costs and keep teachers where they are needed most—in the classroom.
But what has the cost of this change been for parents and students? How has having adjusted schedules affected the lives of those who depend on the school system?
If your family has been affected, now is the time to speak out. From 5:30-6:15 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1, the board of education will hear comments from the community.
The meeting will be in county commissioners’ chambers in the David R. Sandifer building at the Brunswick County government complex in Bolivia.
But the meeting is not just for those who oppose the change or who are having difficulties because of it. If you like the switch and think it’s made a positive impact on your child’s education, it’s important you let school officials know that, too.
If you can’t attend the meeting, you can still be a part of the discussion. An electronic survey was sent to parents who have provided an active email account to their child’s school. Others can participate in the survey by logging onto www.bcswan.net and clicking the survey link on the homepage.
Surveys must be completed before the Nov. 1 meeting, where results will be presented.
We’ve heard a lot of complaints from parents about what they feel are undue hardships on families and students. It would appear a lot of people are unhappy with the plan. We encourage school board members and administrators to take parents’ comments to heart.
If a majority of parents say this isn’t working, listen to them. However, in the best interest of kids who have already adjusted to the schedule, keep the current system in place through the end of this school year, but have an alternative ready before next August.
We think there are other places to look for savings. We don’t necessarily agree the times children go to school and get home are from where it should come.
And we don’t think it should be from more cuts in classrooms—a place where already overburdened teachers are putting in extra hours for no additional pay and relying on themselves and parents to provide basic necessities for classrooms.
We think the board should look closer at the volume of administrators in central office, as well as the pay of those in some of the positions.
How many assistant superintendents are truly needed to make a district of this size work effectively? How many administrative assistants are truly needed to get all of the work there done?
During this economic downturn, almost all businesses are looking at cuts. The hard truth is we are all facing a leaner workforce that can do more with less.
We don’t want to see anyone lose a job, but it may be time to face the inevitable. If it were your kid standing beside a winding rural road while the stars were still out waiting for a bus, wouldn’t you want another alternative?