Thursday, December 18, 2008

School budget shortfall effects us all.

I've been going to the local school pool for about 15 years for twice weekly water aerobics. Because I have moderately severe knee arthritis, there are many limitations on my activities on land, but in the pool, I can move with no pain or stiffness for the whole hour.

Like every unit of government I know of, the school district (largest geographically in the US) is in difficult financial straights. A bond issue election has failed three times. The board is looking at what to cut, and they can expect reduced help from the state because there is a projected 5 billion (with a B) over the next three years at the state level. [Good work, Republicans!] What can a district cut when they are already just about down to the bone and the state allows the students to transfer anywhere and take their state money with them?

Enter those of us who don't want to close the three pools in the district. The board members from areas without pools think that this is an easy thing to cut. Those of us who use the pools disagree. But this isn't just a matter for a handful of adults who get into the water. This affects the kids who need to learn to swim. And it effect those who would like to become life guards.

I sent letters with my reasons to keep the pools open. My biggest reason is that I know of two people whose lives were saved because two of the students who took the life guarding classes have saved lives, not at the pool, but when they were recreating. I witnessed my daughter save a big guy who is 6 feet tall, but who panicked when he swam too far from shore.

The results of what is learned (and not learned) in school are not always apparent in the normal course of life, but many things come out in the long run. You just never know how you affect those you teach.

1 comment:

  1. I was chairman of the school Board when the Democratic Governor who had promised to increase our school aid cut it. I know the pain of trying to decide what to cut. Everything was essential to somebody.


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