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The Lean Years

February 28, 2010

There is little doubt that these are challenging times to be in public education.  We have entered an era that is being described as the “lean years.” Strategies that have worked in the past are no longer effective.  With budgets being severely reduced and community expectations on the rise there is a need for creative thinking.

Recently, a community member gave me a report on public sector leadership. One of the focuses of the report was challenging leaders to reshape organizations rather than making uniform cuts to the existing structure.  The premise is that with reduced revenue a new reality, cutting a straight percentage across the system doesn’t make sense.

How does this impact Saline Area Schools?  We have started down this path.  We are reconfiguring our buildings which allows us to close a school.  We are recommending options that generate revenue to cover costs associated with extracurricular activities.

Sadly, much more is required to bring our projected 2010-2011 budget into balance.

We will be hosting two Community Budget forums this spring to gather feedback from the community regarding possible options.  The first will be Tuesday, March 30th at 6:30pm in the Harvest Elementary cafeteria.  The second one will be Monday, April 12th at 6:30pm in the Middle School media center.

One of the strengths of Saline Area Schools is the engaged community.  These meetings will be an excellent opportunity to learn more about the issues and share your thoughts.

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