Scary Budget Cuts

Scary+Budget+Cuts

Zandy Eckley, Reporter

As we approach the school board meeting people are wondering what will happen and what activities will get cut. Stefanie Bell, the School Board’s  vice chairman says, “The Board of Trustees has been working on identifying budget cuts since October 2020. We knew at that time that the Wyoming Legislature may reduce funding for education.” 

Some of us are worried or are wondering if an activity that we like will be cut. Park 6 offers every activity that has been supported by the Wyoming High School Activity Association, and Park 6 has known since 2017 that we spend more than we receive from the Association. This puts us in a bad situation financially.

Bell continues to say, “The difference is $200,000. The board has made no decision on cutting sports or activities, but with unknown budget cuts from $1.8 million to $3.8 million, we have to consider changing what we offer. We are in the process of asking everyone for their input on how to best balance what we receive and spend in activities.” 

Sydney Simone, a 7th grade student here at CMS says, “I feel like sports should not be cut because kids love to do these activities. Small cuts should be made to each sport so we could save more money like coaches for example.” 

Bell also states, “The first place we looked to reduce the budget was by not purchasing items and saving the money. It is similar to a family budget when they decide that they can’t afford something. Our district will purchase less, choose cheaper items, and may decide some purchases can’t happen.” 

As a school district, we need to make good decisions for our district so we can continue to move forward as smoothly as possible. When we think about cutting the sports or activities that cost the most money, they are also the sports that provide an activity for lots of students. The smaller the sport turnout is, the more it costs per student. When you think about cutting the sports that we have to rent out a building from the community due to our schools not having one of our own. That costs money, but so do our schools when we have to clean them after each sporting practice/meet or event. Everything has a cost.

Simone also says, “I know that we are in debt and we need the money for more essentials and such, but I {also} know when you are young you look forward to things like art every other day in elementary and 6th-grade sports when you are in fifth-grade. I think they should keep some things so kids have something to look forward to.”

Teachers are extremely important. If the district cuts teachers to save money, how else are students going to get our education? 

Mrs. Bell says, “The trustees approved early retirement packages and a voluntary separation agreement to encourage people who wanted to retire or do something else.”

The board says that they plan on reducing/getting rid of 15 teaching positions for the 2021/ 2022 school year.  

Bell finally states, “It is complex, so trustees want to make sure we look at everything, understand the details, and consider all of our options before we make any decisions.”

I know all of this sounds stressful or concerning, but I believe that the school board will do their best to save things that we love and cut small things within those activities so we can save the money that needs to be saved. I am hoping that the activities that we love will still be available!