Archive for Thursday, March 18, 2010

Students first when district deals with budget cuts, PTA told

March 18, 2010

Budget worries for patrons of USD 232 aren’t going away anytime soon, but the De Soto Area PTA Council is trying to help them stay up-to-date on the latest budget news from Topeka.

Representatives from the council presented a community forum Feb. 9 at Mill Creek Middle School.

About 50 patrons turned out to hear speakers Alvie Cater, director of community relations for USD 232, and Jack Deyoe, district director of facilities and operations.

Cater addressed the current budget situation in USD 232 and answered questions from the audience.

“We are trying to ease the anxiety of the staff and parents,” Cater told those in attendance. “We will still have school, and we’ll still touch students. We are moving forward on some things and pulling back on others. We’re doing what’s best for the students.”

One of the biggest concerns for patrons was a possible increase in class size.

Cater said the district would look at class sizes strategically in order to maintain class and teacher ratios.

Cater assured parents that the class ratio wouldn’t become a problem for students.

The issue of all-day kindergarten was also addressed at the forum.

Cater said the issue came down to funding. The state of Kansas only funds half-day kindergarten and the district wouldn’t have the necessary space to house an all-day program.

Deyoe addressed the news coming from Topeka.

He said while not much has come from the Legislature recently, he expected more budget news in two to three weeks.

Deyoe said the most concerning budget issue will come during the 2011-12 school year, when the federal stimulus money the state received runs out.

Patron in attendance received budget talking points and contact information for local legislators.

Chris Akin, president of the area council, encouraged patrons to contact their legislators about school budget concerns.

“The area council advocates for area children,” she said. “We want to ensure education for all children.”

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