This week the school board announced more budget cuts – about $6 million more that needs to come from an already thin $119 million dollar budget. There’s no easy answer here and without getting political – I think we can agree that we all lose.
The Governer throwing a cat at it.
Axxess has been a community leader in School fund-raising for the past six years or so. In that time, I’ve really gotten familiar with our school system and it’s districts, teachers, PTA members, parents and kids. A few years back, while my friends would be at happy hour I would be at the district board meetings on Anacapa Street waiting for my sixty seconds to talk during public comment – in which I’d explain that I had a fund-raising idea for schools. I’d sit through these meetings that often went for two or three hours just for the chance to talk to a principal or parent who would give me their ear afterwords. Those were long nights and I remember them well. The mood was often serious if not somber, and I imagine that these recent meetings must be rather depressing given the imminent challenges.
Cutting out jobs is not fun or fair, nor is cutting programs or closing schools. My fund-raising efforts at Axxess have shown me how hard our school teachers, employees and administrators work. I work with many of the maintenance guys at these schools – all of which bust their tails and have a lot of pride in their school. Equally hard working are the librarians, the office staff, and the list goes on…so I would not want to be the person to decide which jobs get cut.
I’ve also been made aware of all sorts of school programs that exist. I now know what a G.A.T. E. Program is (I wasn’t familiar previously because I wasn’t quite the student to be part of G.A.T.E!) , and I know what the Virtual Enterprise Program is within the high schools and how valuable it is.
I personally know many of the school board members and superintendents and I know how much each of them cares about our schools and our students. The decisions they’re facing today must be extremely difficult and it would no doubt suck to be in their shoes.
As our community gets through the process I know that it is something we will get through, and I’m proud that Axxess contributes at such a level that makes a difference each year.