I attended my first school board meeting tonight. It was decided that a community forum was needed in order to address the expected budget cuts for the next school year. I know that Springfield is one of many districts affected by the budget crisis in the country and particularly the state of Illinois. I feel I have a vested interest in what happens with the budget in this district because of my desire to stay in district for my first year of teaching.
I expected to go to this meeting and listen to the explanation of the real issue from the mouths of the people making it. This did come to fruition. The members of the superintendent cabinet spoke about the fact that our expenditures exceed our expected revenue for next year. After hearing the issue, I expected that the audience would be allowed questions which would be answered by the superintendent. Only have of this expectation came to be. There was a Q & A session, during which very relevant and pressing questions were posed; almost all of which went unanswered by the superintendent. I have never seen someone dance around such a tough issue like 56 instructional leaders, reading teachers, and other instructional professions positions being cut. I left the meeting feeling more uncertain about the state of the district than I did when I came in. If our own superintendent was unwilling to provide us with substantive responses to our concerns, can we really expect him to take our concerns into consideration when making proposals for what next year will look like? Tonight was a lesson learned in how political our field can really be.
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