Now - I have recently heard rumors about a one - possible two million dollar budget shortfall for Cudahy schools. I heard about teacher layoffs. I heard about cuts in our district's music and art programs. And, because of recent events, I heard of unhappy teachers - feeling blindsided - not knowing what to do.
Coming from a frustrated parent whose kids go to public school, I ask this: When is this all going to stop? Or mabye I should ask: Is this ever going to stop?
Recently, I had a conversation with a few parents from my kid's school. We were discussing the layoff rumors and possible cuts to various district programs. Oddly, this conversation seemed so casual. As I became uneasy at the news of more cuts, the other parents simply shrugged their shoulders and shook their heads. They were used to bad news. And really, what could they do? Cuts were simply a part of the year to year atmosphere.
For the past 15 years, I cannot remember a year when I did not hear bad news - of some sort - about school budgets. Literally, budget shortfalls in school districts have become an expectation. Every year, I hold my breath, waiting for some kind of announcement. What are we going to lose now? Did our kids lose an art teacher? Does our high school still have a marching band? Will we ever get new computers? And with each year, especially this year, things just seem to go from bad to worse. Now, along with all of the school cuts, we have teachers at a lower morale than ever before. This is frustrating.
In terms of the economy, let's pretend that we are able to bring business in Wisconsin.
Would businesses really want to stay here if we cannot provide a proper education for their children? How can we train a future workforce if our public schools don't have any money? We want our schools to be the best in the world. However, our state keeps cutting our schools down, year by year, program by program, service by service to death. In the future, if something is not done, public schools all over will be nothing more than large classes and core subjects. The schools will still be around, but the quality will be gone and the value of a diploma may not even get our kids a job.
Even now, most people can see the threat of having no 4k programs, no gifted and talented programs, no art programs, no music, no school librarians, and very little technology.
Taking a step back.
Yes, there luckily still are a lot of wonderful, promising things about Cudahy's school district (to name a few - forensics programs, our Renaissance students, our sports programs, orchestra, and foreign languages) But when are they going to go away? Are they going to stay? Are the teachers that run them going to stay? Again, at the rate we are going - with drastic cuts year after year, I can't think that the answer could be anything other than no. Something - I'm not sure what - needs to be done.
Mr. Walker, because you are our current governor and you are making bold decisions right now, I really want to send you a personal invitation. You have two sons who are a little older than my sons. (I know this because you mentioned this in a pleasant email exchange a few years ago.) Well, coincidentally, open enrollment in our school district is going on right now. I invite you to enroll your boys in the Cudahy School District. We have wonderful teachers, wonderful families, and wonderful kids. And we are right on the lake. However, our school district hardly has any money, a rumored two million dollar budget shortfall, and currently - very unhappy teachers. But that's okay. If our kids can live with year after year of cuts to their education, then your kids wouldn't mind either, right? Here is the link to enroll - Wisconsin DPI Open Enrollment. Open enrollment runs from February 7 through February 24th. I'm sure your kids would be accepted right away. Mr. Walker, we would love to have you.