Emotions Run High at School Board Meeting

Q: What could possibly get community members so riled up? 

A: The 2010 – 2011 School District Budget. 

Monday night’s school board meeting ran the gambit of emotions from anger to sadness, from peaceful to energetic. 

“This is a difficult place to be,” said District Superintendent Ron Saari, “We’re being forced to choose between bad and worse. We are taking the best worst choice.” 

As the budget was proposed for approval at the meeting, concerned community members, teachers, and interest groups voiced their opinions.  Some voices were strong, some quavered as personal feelings got in the way, and others were just plain argumentative.  One of the strong voices at the meeting was that of Amy Yaeger, BRFHS business teacher. 

“I was angry and nervous; I mean, you don’t want to hurt anybody,” said Yaeger regarding her comments at the meeting, “It’s just really hard to not get emotional, I really feel that they [the administration] don’t understand how much we give of ourselves on a daily basis.” 

Many community members agree, including many music boosters. 

“I feel as though the administration doesn’t always have the best interests of the students at heart,” said one music booster member, whose voice broke during the meeting, “Cutting positions is never good for the students.  At the same time they are laying off teachers they are looking to make more positions for administrators.  I also feel as though the administration isn’t truly listening to the community.” 

Other community members also spoke their minds, many specifically about cutting the full time position of an arts/music teacher at the high school level, as well as the elimination of a full time fifth grade teacher.  The school board passed the cuts with six members voting in favor in of the resolution, with one abstaining.