At a recent Falmouth School Board and school administration presentation, the focus of administrators appeared to point to a plan that would in large part reduce school spending by cutting staff. The extensive and well-prepared teacher statements outlining the value of their various programs reinforced this impression. The teachers who presented these very informative outlines must have had informed reasons to fear cuts in their departments.
As a former teacher in the Falmouth schools it is disappointing, after years of hearing administrators promoting the value and need of new staff, to witness what appears to be a willingness to place staff cuts at the front of the line. Every cut in staff will have a direct negative impact on student learning and success.
It is my hope that we will look first at a reduction in teacher workshop days, and furlough days. For optimum savings the furlough days must include our administrators as well as other staff. In addition to this cost reduction and other proposed cuts, the schools need to institute “pay-to-play” fees and look at excessive bus runs. As a taxpayer, our family is also willing to have a moderate increase in our property taxes if it will protect Falmouth’s high quality of education.
But the most important message conveyed by the School Board and Superintendent Barbara Powers is the need to hear from members of the Falmouth community. It is time to let them know your ideas on where to make cuts or how to add revenue.