A Voice of Colorado No. 60 Version 5.0:

The Poudre School in Larimer County, CO. recently announced that it will make an effort save an estimated $800,000 in the upcoming school year. The reason for the cuts is because of diminished financial reserves resulting from lower-than expected enrollment in the current school year and lower-than anticipated state funding cuts.

Positions that will be eliminated to assist in the projected savings include:

• A full-time communications position
• A full-time customer support position
• Three full-time educational technology positions
• 1 and a half full-time information technology positions
• A full-time position transportation position

Additionally, central office reductions will include cuts to the capital budget for transportation and annual operating budgets for:

• Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Schools Todd Lambert
• Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Schools Scott Nielsen
• Education technology
• Information technology
• Post-secondary readiness
• Recruitment

It seems that if the superintendent of the Poudre School District were genuinely concerned about proper funding for the district she voluntarily cut her pay package by at least fifty percent and require the Assistant Superintendents to cut their pay packages by at least twenty-five percent. The fact this has not been proposed and is unlikely to be proposed speaks volumes regarding the superintendent’s priorities, and they are not with actual education of students in the district.

The cuts listed will take effect July 1, 2017.

If the Poudre School District wanted to address these cost-saving measures as well as the results of the budget-balancing tool called “The Negative Factor”, which reportedly will cost the district more than $28 million in funding, it would set its priorities accordingly: Academics before athletics.

Again, because this fact has not been proposed and is unlikely to be proposed indicates the district is no serious about proper funding of education within the district.

Perhaps the time has come for the district to terminate the employment of the superintendent and her subordinates, and employ individuals for less who will focus on students and education, and not their bank accounts and egos.

A challenge to all Coloradans: What should be a priority – academics or athletics, and why do you believe so?

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