Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Grand Rapids Schools’ Panic

The last few weeks have seen a flurry of activity around the Grand Rapids Schools. Superintendent Bert Bleke, as well as members of the school board, have been screaming about funding. They claim that they need to cut another $18 million from next year's budget.

But, lo and behold, they are actually pursuing some cost cutting measures!

Apparently the school district is finally pursuing outsourcing non-educational services. They're looking at outsourcing 400 jobs, according to the Grand Rapids Press. They're even vowing to keep cuts away from the classroom (a novel idea).

The board members are blabbering on and on, as though this is such a tough and horrible decision - one they've been forced into against their will. Do any of them realize that they are running a school district, not a jobs program? They should have been doing this stuff years ago.

But, along came the Teachers' Union Cavalry. They showed up en masse on Monday evening at the school board's meeting. Even the executive director of the Michigan Education Association spoke. They're bringing out the big guns. One can smell the fear in the air.

We'll see if this school board and superintendent have a spine and stick by their plans.

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