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Why Scot, Why….

January 9, 2010

The past week has been an interesting one for Saline Area Schools.  There has been a great deal of discussion around the issue of “online math” at Saline High School.  It prompted this statement from us on Tuesday morning.

We are continuing to work through a challenging budget reduction process. Recently, there has been information shared with some staff members about possible mid-year reductions. It appears information discussed internally regarding “worst case scenario” options is now being shared as having already been decided.  One of the scenarios was related specifically to high school math and the possible use of online instruction.  It is important to understand that no formal recommendations have been made to the Saline Board of Education regarding this option.

One of the hallmarks of Saline Area Schools is the ability to work with our community to focus on student learning, as well as financial stability. At no time in recent memory have the financial challenges been this significant.

On a positive note, on January 4th, 2010, Governor Granholm issued a public statement about her intent to rescind the additional $127 per pupil proration.  While this does not impact the current $165 per pupil reduction and the uncertainty of the 2010/11 budget, it is certainly good news for the students, staff, and community of Saline Area Schools.

On Thursday, I held an all staff meeting to discuss the current budget issues, the process being used to determine what staff cuts might be necessary, and to answers questions.  There were questions……

Many centered around a “letter of intent” that I issued to our teachers’ union – the Saline Education Association – in December.  This provided notice of intent to, “transfer of work of the nature and kind customarily performed by members of the Association’s Bargaining Unit to any other employer pursuant to Article I, Section D, Subsection 2a.”

This letter was provided to keep all options open as we work through the budget reduction process.  Does it appear serious?  Yes.  These are sobering times; however, I have notified the Board of Education and informed the staff at a district-wide staff meeting on January 7th that we will not be making recommendations related to the letter at this time.

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