Idaho Falls School District 91 is calling on parents, patrons and staff for input as the district faces $3.5 million to $4 million in cuts for the coming school year. They are holding budget workshop meetings to give the public a chance to voice those opinions. Summer Joy was there to get the details about the meeting and to find out if parents really feel like this is a good thing.
"I think it's really beneficial becaue when you sit down here and choose what to cut you relize all of the special interest classes are going to lose something. For me I think its so beneficial because I really can't complain, now that I know and have been invested in the process and I understand better that everybody is giving something," said Carol Anderson, a Parent Participant.
District 91 has attempted to offset the reductions by making cuts, consolidating positions and looking for efficiencies. It also has used one-time federal funds and savings to minimize the impact of the cuts. To help decide which programs and or issues will have those cuts the district has been working with principals, teachers, and staff and over the next four days will include public opinion.
"See if we can get, at least in some areas, consenus on what those reductions might be. Although at this point there are no easy desicions, everything is a trade off and anything that is on the list has value or wouldn't be there," said George Boland, Superintendent for District 91.
An additional $3.3 million in potential cuts has been developed to give the public an opportunity to provide input. Each person is put into a small group and then the 2 to 2.5 million dollars in proposed reductions are discussed and then voted upon. They must have a 2/3 vote for it to pass and be noted.
"If you have strong or moderate feelings about what is important for our children's education then get involved and let your voice be heard. How is the school board supposed to get an idea of what the people really want and really support if we don't come out here and raise those opinions," added Anderson.
The next two meetings are: Monday april 29 from 11am to 1:30pm at the Idaho Falls Public Library and Tuesday April 30, from 7pm to 9pm at compass academy. District 91 says these budget cuts will be a difficult process and they need the community's support as the board makes the difficult decisions necessary to create a budget that reflects today's financial realities.