Closing schools not answer to budget ...

Closing schools not answer to budget woes

There are 141 comments on the Alamogordo Daily News story from Jun 23, 2009, titled Closing schools not answer to budget woes. In it, Alamogordo Daily News reports that:

The closing of the High Rolls Mountain Park Elementary and Holloman Middle School and transporting those students elsewhere is a totally unacceptable solution of the Alamogordo Public School's budget problem.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Alamogordo Daily News.

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JSwift

Alamogordo, NM

#1 Jun 24, 2009
Way to go, Jim ! Good letter, any possibility High rolls could simply secede from the district, run its own school - and apply for federal funding, maybe ?
Kioki

Ashburn, VA

#2 Jun 24, 2009
You could possibly join Cloudcroft school district
Perfection

Alamogordo, NM

#3 Jun 24, 2009
I like this story...
I agree... How about putting the focus on education and taking a little away from sports..?
What about cutting down on some of the administration postions, and demand a decent day's work from out current administrators?
There are still alot of options out there to exclude closing down 2 of the more successfull schools in the district

“Obama is IGNORANT!!”

Since: Feb 09

Capitan, NM

#4 Jun 24, 2009
Good point. Closing the school may save money, but no amount of money saved is worth putting children at risk by busing them to Alamogordo or up to Cloudcroft!
Why choose

Albuquerque, NM

#5 Jun 24, 2009
Impact wrote:
Good point. Closing the school may save money, but no amount of money saved is worth putting children at risk by busing them to Alamogordo or up to Cloudcroft!
We put our children at risk everyday on every bus! What about the children that currently run up and down that highway each and every day 6th - 12th graders? Are their lives not as valuable as 1st - 5th graders? Again, people - we are talking about 24 kids here, not rocket science - this school is not self substainable!
VMayberry

Hollister, CA

#6 Jun 25, 2009
This is a well written article by Jim Cadwallader. I am a former M.T.D. Officer who knows of Jim and is a friend of his son James who has two fine boys attending the school in High Rolls. The school doesn't need to be closed in order to save money. They need to look elsewhere in the school system in order to make the cuts.
Every year there has been a wreck along the roadway where the bus will be going to take the kids to the other school. I for one do not wish to see the bus coming down the mountain with these kids on board.
1. It is way to dangerous for the bus and the other motorists along the roadway.
2. Coming down the mountain with the weight of the bus requires a engine brake/retarder system. These types of system spews out unburned diesel onto the sides of the road causing loss of property and as well as health concerns to the residences along the way.When it rains the diesel will come to the surface being a slick spot on the roadway and has a potential to cause a vehicle to lose its grip on the road. The loss of life greatly outweighs the cost of saving the dollar.The cost of busing the children from High Rolls to La Luz Centsless.
Novice

Mescalero, NM

#9 Jun 26, 2009
What other ways? Cut the budgets of other schools so a privileged few can go to these schools? Cut programs such as music or art? How about cutting the sports programs at the middle schools and high schools? There is more expense per student in these two schools then in any other.

What people are forgetting is the opportunities for these few students at the larger schools. They will be able to participate in many programs too costly for the small population.

I travel that road twice a day five days a week. I have never had an accident, or even a close call. If you check with the highway department, 82 is not that dangerous.

Finally, if parent want to keep these schools, they should contact the state and federal government and ask why the budgets have been so drasticly cut.

Aslo, please remember, the schools in Alamogordo have some of the best teachers, principal, and staff in the state.
House of Critters

Albuquerque, NM

#10 Jun 26, 2009
Novice wrote:
What other ways? Cut the budgets of other schools so a privileged few can go to these schools? Cut programs such as music or art? How about cutting the sports programs at the middle schools and high schools? There is more expense per student in these two schools then in any other.
What people are forgetting is the opportunities for these few students at the larger schools. They will be able to participate in many programs too costly for the small population.
I travel that road twice a day five days a week. I have never had an accident, or even a close call. If you check with the highway department, 82 is not that dangerous.
Finally, if parent want to keep these schools, they should contact the state and federal government and ask why the budgets have been so drasticly cut.
Aslo, please remember, the schools in Alamogordo have some of the best teachers, principal, and staff in the state.
Have you looked at the budget? It is online now. Of course, you have to do some adding, because it is broken into so many little segments - look at how many times you see teacher training and/or travel. Couldn't they do trainings in-house and save thousands of dollars that way?

How many positions could be paid for out of sped money and aren't? Those funds often include economically disadvantaged students - well, that's a good chunk of our population! Sped teachers can give assistance to kids who aren't sped, if they are helping in a mainstreamed classroom.

Salaries are estimates, because you don't know who is ging to fill a given position, where they would be on the salary scale, and whether they would want insurance or not. Common practice is to budget for the high end, just in case, but realizing you probably won't spend near that much.

There are ways to save money without hurting ANY of the kids, and closer look could help benefit ALL of them!
House of Critters

Albuquerque, NM

#11 Jun 26, 2009
Novice wrote:
What other ways? Cut the budgets of other schools so a privileged few can go to these schools? Cut programs such as music or art? How about cutting the sports programs at the middle schools and high schools? There is more expense per student in these two schools then in any other.
What people are forgetting is the opportunities for these few students at the larger schools. They will be able to participate in many programs too costly for the small population.
I travel that road twice a day five days a week. I have never had an accident, or even a close call. If you check with the highway department, 82 is not that dangerous.
Finally, if parent want to keep these schools, they should contact the state and federal government and ask why the budgets have been so drasticly cut.
Aslo, please remember, the schools in Alamogordo have some of the best teachers, principal, and staff in the state.
I do agree, btw, with your last statement. Let's stop making their job more impossible each year by adding more kids they can't possibly make time for. I've talked with teachers at by MVMS and La Luz, and not one so far has been in favor of adding these kids.
Clueless

Albuquerque, NM

#12 Jun 26, 2009
House of Critters wrote:
<quoted text>
Have you looked at the budget? It is online now. Of course, you have to do some adding, because it is broken into so many little segments - look at how many times you see teacher training and/or travel. Couldn't they do trainings in-house and save thousands of dollars that way?
How many positions could be paid for out of sped money and aren't? Those funds often include economically disadvantaged students - well,
that's a good chunk of our population! Sped teachers can give assistance to kids who aren't sped, if they are helping in a mainstreamed classroom.
Salaries are estimates, because you don't know who is ging to fill a given position, where they would be on the salary scale, and whether they would want insurance or not. Common practice is to budget for the high end, just in case, but realizing you probably won't spend near that much.
There are ways to save money without hurting ANY of the kids, and closer look could help benefit ALL of them!
Mrs. Critters, perhaps you need to leave the Budget woes to the experts, you obviously don't have a clue what your talking about. Do your research first....talk to a budget anaylist at the PED and find out what the monies your speaking of can be used for, or did you forget a law called "NO Child left behind"!
Kay

Santa Fe, NM

#13 Jun 26, 2009
I am a teacher and we would love to do our training in-house because it would be tailored to fit our specific needs! Every single building in this district has a wealth of experience and ideas which, too often, go untapped. Not only are teachers sent out for training, which includes registration fees plus travel and per diem, but a LOT of money is paid to have people come in and tell us what we could/should do. The sad thing is that many of us already stay up-to-date on research and have adopted best education practices in our classrooms. This money could be used more practically, for sure.

Sped teachers in my building actually have made their services available to other students based on circumstances like mainstreamed classrooms. And this is on top of a paper-heavy work load that they are required to do. But the district does have to be very careful where sped money is spent.

Kind of like the community coming together for this common goal: with so many ideas coming, ALL students in this district will benefit!
House of Critters wrote:
<quoted text>
Have you looked at the budget? It is online now. Of course, you have to do some adding, because it is broken into so many little segments - look at how many times you see teacher training and/or travel. Couldn't they do trainings in-house and save thousands of dollars that way?
How many positions could be paid for out of sped money and aren't? Those funds often include economically disadvantaged students - well, that's a good chunk of our population! Sped teachers can give assistance to kids who aren't sped, if they are helping in a mainstreamed classroom.
Salaries are estimates, because you don't know who is ging to fill a given position, where they would be on the salary scale, and whether they would want insurance or not. Common practice is to budget for the high end, just in case, but realizing you probably won't spend near that much.
There are ways to save money without hurting ANY of the kids, and closer look could help benefit ALL of them!
Scout Mom

Rio Rancho, NM

#14 Jun 26, 2009
SAN JOSE, CA (KGO)-- One of the state's largest school districts made some tough decisions Thursday night on spending cuts to balance the budget. Sports programs were spared, but teachers were not.
At Independence High School in East San Jose, football is more than just a sport -- it changes lives.
That's why when the East Side Union High School District considered cutting all athletic programs in March because of a $23 million budget shortfall, parents protested.
Thursday night, the school board reaffirmed its decision to save sports, but lose 80 teachers.
"There is trauma in the organization with these cuts and so we're looking to survive," said J.Manuel Herrera, a school board member.
Sports are surviving with the help of an $800,000 insurance settlement, fundraisers, and a $200 per student athlete donation.
"We're torn because we want to say we can't afford it, but if the parents are going to fundraise, great, but they haven't done that yet," said Marisa Hanson from the Eastside Teachers Association.
Teachers are trying not to put their need for a job ahead of student programs, but in these tight economic times, they say, it's hard not to.
"When they come to me and say we're having sports, but I'm still not getting my job back, it's really hard," said Hanson.
For Independence High School's head football coach Norm Brown, it's even harder.
"I got a pink slip from the district," said Brown.
He's lost his full time teaching position, but gets to keep his coaching job, which doesn't pay the bills.
In the end, the board passed a balanced budget, but teachers are still holding out hope that at least five of the 80 will be asked to return in the fall.
http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story...
House of Critters

Albuquerque, NM

#15 Jun 26, 2009
Clueless wrote:
<quoted text>
Mrs. Critters, perhaps you need to leave the Budget woes to the experts, you obviously don't have a clue what your talking about. Do your research first....talk to a budget anaylist at the PED and find out what the monies your speaking of can be used for, or did you forget a law called "NO Child left behind"!
I taught here for eight years. My area of concentration in college was special ed. I was on the student assistance team (the team that evaluated testing referrals) at two schools. I have team taught with different special ed teachers in town. I have participated in more IEP meetings than I can count. Just today I was talking with a teacher whose salary is paid out of sped funds, and she said she actually sees more non-sped kids than sped in a given day. I know exactly what I am talking about, do your own research.

“I'm purple”

Since: May 08

buffet

#16 Jun 26, 2009
Why choose wrote:
<quoted text>
We put our children at risk everyday on every bus! What about the children that currently run up and down that highway each and every day 6th - 12th graders? Are their lives not as valuable as 1st - 5th graders? Again, people - we are talking about 24 kids here, not rocket science - this school is not self substainable!
Smaller children fare much worse in accidents than larger children, hence carseat rules. Not that I agree with putting the older ones in danger, but they don't have a choice. However, it is not justification to put another 24+ lives at risk.
Concerned HR resident

Mescalero, NM

#17 Jun 26, 2009
HWY 82 is the most dangerous stretch of highway in the state of NM.....Just ask our Sheriff's Dept. and our hardworking Volunteer Fire Dept. about how many accidents of all kinds occur from Alamogordo to Cloudcroft each month or year....Many vehicular accidents are fatal, and the road closings due to them are another potential disaster waiting to happen....Inclement weather exacerbates all highway driving dangers....Falling rocks, slick road skids, irresponsible drivers of all kinds up AND down the mountain....You've been EXTREMELY lucky in your travels on this road...

We should get a copy of the APS budget and call another meeting in HRMP to study and discuss ways to perhaps cut some costs and more effectively spend the money we have and not put any more of our young children in any more danger than necessary.

Surely with all the fine minds of the concerned citizens of this community, we can come up with a better solution...Thanks for your time.

“Please put our children FIRST!”

Since: Dec 08

Albuquerque, NM

#18 Jun 26, 2009
Clueless wrote:
<quoted text>
Mrs. Critters, perhaps you need to leave the Budget woes to the experts, you obviously don't have a clue what your talking about. Do your research first....talk to a budget anaylist at the PED and find out what the monies your speaking of can be used for, or did you forget a law called "NO Child left behind"!
My personal contact info is in my profile. If you are the person that is willing to help me understand this budget - wonderful, please get in touch with me.

I have asked the Finance Department to assist me and answer some questions so that I can be more informed...waiting for a reply still today.

If you are not willing to help, please stop being so rude.

“Please put our children FIRST!”

Since: Dec 08

Albuquerque, NM

#19 Jun 26, 2009
Clueless wrote:
<quoted text>
Mrs. Critters, perhaps you need to leave the Budget woes to the experts, you obviously don't have a clue what your talking about. Do your research first....talk to a budget anaylist at the PED and find out what the monies your speaking of can be used for, or did you forget a law called "NO Child left behind"!
Oh and by the way....we DID leave it to the "experts"...why are we sitting here closing schools if the "experts" were doing their jobs correctly for our school district and in the best interest of our kids?

Since: Jan 08

Mountain Park, NM

#20 Jun 26, 2009
Concerned HR resident wrote:
HWY 82 is the most dangerous stretch of highway in the state of NM.....Just ask our Sheriff's Dept. and our hardworking Volunteer Fire Dept. about how many accidents of all kinds occur from Alamogordo to Cloudcroft each month or year....Many vehicular accidents are fatal, and the road closings due to them are another potential disaster waiting to happen....Inclement weather exacerbates all highway driving dangers....Falling rocks, slick road skids, irresponsible drivers of all kinds up AND down the mountain....You've been EXTREMELY lucky in your travels on this road...
We should get a copy of the APS budget and call another meeting in HRMP to study and discuss ways to perhaps cut some costs and more effectively spend the money we have and not put any more of our young children in any more danger than necessary.
Surely with all the fine minds of the concerned citizens of this community, we can come up with a better solution...Thanks for your time.
Dear Concerned HR Resident,
If you would please call me we can find a way to make this happen! I thank you for your input.
I suspect

Alamogordo, NM

#21 Jun 26, 2009
House of Critters wrote:
<quoted text>
I taught here for eight years. My area of concentration in college was special ed. I was on the student assistance team (the team that evaluated testing referrals) at two schools. I have team taught with different special ed teachers in town. I have participated in more IEP meetings than I can count. Just today I was talking with a teacher whose salary is paid out of sped funds, and she said she actually sees more non-sped kids than sped in a given day. I know exactly what I am talking about, do your own research.
CLUELESS and I KNOW seem pretty REGAL/MM to me.Its not beyond them.
Big K

Downers Grove, IL

#22 Jun 26, 2009
A lot of school districts have stopped all transportation for kids to schools, let them walk, carpool...Pay to play includes sports,band,drama,etc...And cut 10% of all staff, admin,teachers,service staff...Make everyone share the pain..

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