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Careful what you cut

February 14, 2013
Editorial by the Adirondack Daily Enterprise: Publisher Catherine Moore, Managing Editor Peter Crowley

Tupper Lake and Saranac Lake schools are about to go through more budget cuts, as are schools across the country. We agree expenses do need to be cut to have a balanced budget; however, it needs to be done with careful thought and with the least amount of effect on the students and their learning experience.

When classes such as music and art, and activities such as sports, are the first to be cut, it is putting emphasis that the only important jobs in the future are in academic-related areas. Is math so much more important than music, or science than physical education? It's a question we need to ask ourselves right now.

Apple's success was due as much to its innovative design and marketing as its computer technology. As a nation, we need to encourage a balance of innovation and creativity as well as critical thinking and problem solving. When one is canceled out, it affects a student, possibly directing him or her into something that might not be the right fit, thus resulting in failure.

Focus should be on weighing what gives our children's education the best value and what takes our attention away from their education. Testimonials from students and families need to be heard before the board and administration make decisions on the budget.

That's why you should get involved. Tupper Lakers need to attend school board meetings and budget workshops in the upcoming months and speak up, telling board members and administrators of their priorities.

We urge residents of the Saranac Lake Central School District to attend the "Listening Tour" this coming Tuesday night, Feb. 19, at 6:30 at the Harrietstown Town Hall. Students will be on hand to explain and show you what and why certain classes are important to them.

After all, it is all about the students and their future.

The Saranac Lake district is also taking input on its budget via a confidential survey at www.surveymonkey.com/s/DP8BV2T. It's short with just a few questions, which get right to the point: What should be kept, what cut, what efficiencies could be gained? We at the Enterprise filled one out, suggesting that all district-level services - administration, busing, purchasing, etc. - be the first priority for consolidation or sharing with other districts. We also suggested, contrary to what the governor and the president said in their recent speeches, that universal pre-kindergarten might be an area to seriously reconsider; it's a case of government competing with private preschool providers clamoring to offer essentially the same service.

As we go through this difficult process, let's not make it about protecting our selfish interests but about doing what's best to develop a well-rounded workforce that will make the world a better place.

 
 

 

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