The Sunshine Coast Board of Education had to put their own mathematics skills to the test on the first day of the new school year.
The first day of school is always an exciting time, full of promise and hope. Unfortunately, this year that excitement was overshadowed by an unshakeable sense of anxiety due to the recent cuts to our educational system.
Faced with the challenge of keeping our children learning, our staff employed, and our buildings standing amidst these cuts brought on a flurry of numbers and scenarios.
Our senior staff worked tirelessly to come up with options for the Board.
While there are still some details to sort out, the one thing that the Board of Education has committed to is not laying off any staff due to these cuts.
No campaign rhetoric, but I will say that this committment is no easy task to make with the funding shortages we’re facing, and in relation to the layoffs many districts are making.
Although the cancellation of the Annual Facility Grant was the biggest blow (about a million dollars) it’s not the only one. A number of other areas were also quietly cut, amounting to a couple hundred thousand more for us to make up from somewhere.
Additionally, it’s also now confirmed that PAC funding will be reduced by fifty percentage. More money taken from the schools.
We will weather this storm and continue to deliver exceptional education opportunities for our community, but something has got to change. Funding for education has been steadily chipped away at for years (long before the current economic situation) and just does not seem to be a priority.
Incidentally, I don’t think throwing more money at problems ever fixes anything. Money needs to be used wisely and we need more inspired leaders focused on the real issues.
However, constantly eroding the funding base has far reaching effects that drains energy and inspiration a little at a time.