As the Star-Banner reported Friday, Marions United commissioned a poll earlier this month to gauge our community's views on a potential school funding referendum. The results were positive.
Make no mistake, the Marion County School Board has some tough decisions to make this year (and probably next year, too). They have no choice but to cut, furlough, and substitute their way to a balanced budget. Why is this? The immediate reasons are (1) "new" funds from Tallahassee are specifically categorized for teacher raises and can't be used for anything else and (2) a half mill referendum that could have pumped an estimated $7 million into our schools was narrowly defeated last August. After six years of cuts to reading coaches, art and music programs, and more, further cuts will continue to directly damage the education our children receive.
It's clear to anyone paying attention that a boost in community investment towards our students and our teachers is going to be needed at the earliest and most practical opportunity. We believe it's critical for the school board to get serious about a long term solution that does exactly that. Sign our petition to the school board today.
Below the fold, check out the email we sent out to our supporters today:
Official news broke earlier today of a number of teachers who had been laid off in May getting re-hired by the school district. Superintendent Tomyn noted that more will likely be hired back in the coming weeks. What made these re-hirings possible? A high number of resignations and retirements according to the Star-Banner article.
Nancy Noonan, President of Marions United for Public Education, released the following statement in response to today's news:
We're very thankful and grateful that many teachers laid off less than two months ago have their jobs back. However, the fact that these jobs were only made possible due to a high number of retirements and resignations should clearly demonstrate that our schools remain in a dangerous and unsustainable position.
The truth remains: the Marion County School Board must develop a long term solution that increases community investment in our schools. Anything less is a disservice to our students, our teachers, and our community.