The soap at the Hershey lodge in Hershey PA is missing it’s middle. Since most people waste the middle anyway, they just eliminated it altogether.

These are the hardest times I’ve ever seen in education in terms of budgetary limitations. Good people and programs are being cut all over the country and witnessing this is painful for teachers, parents and kids alike. We cannot pretend that students aren’t aware of the dire circumstances any more than we can say that children don’t know when their family is in crisis even without a family meeting.

Protecting kids doesn’t in my mind mean not making them aware of the challenges we’re facing but rather doing all we can to protect the programs that do the most to ready them for success in the future. This is hard work because to do this in a balanced way means to see the school or district as a whole.

The state of Kansas is in trouble and district payment come late and we sometime wonder if they’ll stop altogether. As they make cuts, the trickle down affect hits in every community. We look at LOB and mill levies and worry about taxing people out of existence. There are now heroes in this work save for those who do their best to do right by the kids.

The hero is the classroom teacher who already spends her own money to give her kids the things the budget won’t allow. It is the coach who is reworking old equipment to make it last another season and the Superintendent re-planning bus routes for the third time to get the most out of the fuel. These people aren’t getting raises, they are getting pay cuts and they continue to work hard because the kids need them.

I hope that as educational leaders we look first and hardest at the facilities and programs that have the least impact on learning. We must look hard at our goals for the future and the resources that will be critical in fulfilling them. Some systems and structures take time to build and develop and once cut may take a decade to rebuild.

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Tags: administration, budgets, leadership


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