Saturday, April 29, 2006

A Bummer Week.

This week started off with an emergency school board meeting to discuss the huge budget problems in the Montello School District. The board is looking at a deficit of $400,000 this year and another $3-400,000 next year. They have cut back four of the school's best and most loyal teachers (including Mrs. Ellebecker, my beloved art teacher) to 75% time. Of course, being cut back is better than losing their jobs altogether. But they will have to pay for the 25% of insurance (on top of their regular contributions) and they will lose a chunk of salary, which could be devastating. What this means for the students is less choices for their favorite non-core classes - Art, FFA, Business and Family Consumer Science.

Mr. Guttenberg, the superintendent, made a very compassionate and reasonable presentation about why the decision was made. They had no choice. Declining enrollment is forcing them to cut corners. Sadly, the problem can only get worse - fewer options means fewer students will want to come to Montello.

An article in the local paper ends with the statement, "We may be looking at consolidation with another school district in the not to distant future."

So that was depressing.

[Soapbox alert: What is wrong with this country that we can't properly fund education??? Isn't it common sense that if we want to grow and succeed as a nation, we need to invest in our future "human capital"? I just don't get it!!!]

Then, on Tuesday, I developed my traditional spring flu - sore throat and sinus infection. Lovely. I want to cut my own head off to get rid of the pressure.

And, to close out the week with a bang, I went to a conference on the Methamphetamine problem in Wisconsin. It focused heavily on "drug endangered children" and the presenters showed some horrific pictures of child abuse by meth addict parents. If this drug makes it to Marquette will be devastating. Meth is addicting for 90% of first time users, and once addicted, there is a very small chance of recovery. It's bad stuff.

I need some good news!

Today I'm going to Oshkosh to hear my sister sing at the state Solo and Ensemble competition. Hopefully that will lift my spirits.

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