Postpone capital projects to fund schools

Published 9:45 pm Tuesday, March 16, 2010

To the editor:

I have been watching and listening to the problems that the Suffolk public school system are having. Trying to make the budget work without major cuts to our educational system — a system that grooms our future leaders from Early Start through 12th grade.

Our government agencies — federal, state and local — need to look at their budgets to ensure that the school systems will have the necessary money to maintain a sound education for our students. The government has a responsibility to find the funds to run our public schools without cutting programs.

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One of the ways that the school system could save would be to go to a four-day week. By adding an hour and a half to each school day, the schools could maintain their instructional hours. Four-day school weeks would save on electrical expenses and gas for bus travels.

Another way to save would be to require a 10-percent cut in central staff for the next fiscal year. Also, the city and school could both cut capital improvement projects and use the money to pay for the things the school system needs to give students the best education possible.

The City Council should authorize the use of a small amount of money from the unappropriated funds to help with the shortfall that the school system faces for the 2010-2011 fiscal year.

I know it is hard to make big changes in the way the city is run, but one of the first things I would do to make sure our children get the best education would be to postpone some capital improvement projects and apply that money to the school system’s needs.

I am sure that the City Council and School Board can find the necessary funds to have an excellent school year without any major cuts of teachers and other necessary employees.