Trustees did not consider students' interest
Editor: Langley School District has forecasted it will save $224,668 next year, now that the Langley Board of Education has made its decision to withhold six days of school from the roughly 17,000 students in this district. And if as few as one-third of the primary students require extra daycare during that week, then parents in this district could easily be out of pocket in excess of $200,000, by my calculations.
Fundamentally, I do not agree with the two-week spring break. Don’t get me wrong, I am a stay-at-home Mom and I love the free time that I am able to spend with my children. However, we all know that adding a few minutes a day to the remaining school days does not compensate for the week of lost instructional time.
I had been asked before last week whether I supported the two-week spring break. I hesitantly agreed that, with the deficit situation this district is in, the opportunity to save nearly $650,000 a year did, in my opinion, outweigh the detriment of losing six days of instruction.
Never for a moment did I consider that our elected trustees might consider the option of saving the lesser sum of $225,000 would be worth the loss of six full days of school.
If I had, I would have been fighting back before now — before it was too late. As stated in the May 6 Times, this “middle-of-the-road solution...averts a confrontation with the union that represents part-time support staff.”
Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but have we not heard members of the Langley Board of Education reassure us repeatedly that they will make their decisions based on what’s in the best interest of the 17,000 students in this district.
Could someone also explain to me how taking away six days of instruction is in the best interest of the students in Langley?
To top all this off, if they had chosen the option of saving $639,188, then they would have a surplus of as much as $230,000. Instead, the district has announced that it still needs to find another $184,000 of savings.
According to statements made by Trustee Stacey Cody, the board did discuss the possibility of closing another school but then dropped the discussion. They may not have the appetite to close schools right now, but I imagine the return of that discussion won’t be far off.
During all this board time spent discussing how to save money over the past few months, other than a very small handful of parents, the board meetings have been attended mainly by school district employees. Just wait until they start talking about closing schools again, and see how many parents appear at the board meetings. But by that time, it’ll most likely be too little too late.
It’s too late to change the outcome for the 2011-12 school year, but I for one will definitely be fighting back to make sure this is not the outcome of the decision made for the 2012-13 year. My children’s education, and the education of the 17,000 other children in this district, is worth more than this.