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The Lantern

Filed under Editorial/Opinion

Costly conundrum

The CFHS school board wrestles with budget issues in its upcomimg meeting

Cindy+Derosier+maintains+a+much+used+library
Cindy Derosier maintains a much used library

Cindy Derosier maintains a much used library

Staff

Staff

Cindy Derosier maintains a much used library

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Last week at the Cannon Falls School Board meeting, multiple students showed up to make a case as to why budget cuts should not be directed toward their activities. Budget cuts were recently proposed by the school board, and the arts in our school appear to be taking the majority of the heat. Many artists, thespians, bibliophiles, and debaters are concerned about the future of their beloved activities and electives, and they are hoping the board will find a way to avoid making cuts to their activities and continue to support those who want a future in the arts.

This season, the debate team struggled to get started. With no coach and only four members captains, Grant Schlichting and Alex Engebretson, were not hopeful that debate would even happen. After a long search, and almost giving up, the team’s captains found a coach and despite starting out with low numbers, the team recruited and was able to end the season with a grand total of nine debaters, including sophomore, Emma Conway. This hard work appeared to prove that students want a debate team in Cannon Falls, but recently, Conway spoke in front of the school board urging them not to cut the team before she even had a real chance to excel. She wasn’t the only one pleading her case though, the art program is in the line of fire as well.

Currently, the Cannon Falls School system has three art teachers between the elementary, middle, and high school. With the cuts the school board has proposed, the least senior art teacher, Matt Addington, of the elementary school will be cut down to part time. This cut will force the high school art teachers to pick up the slack, giving them less time to focus on their already full schedules to teach. Nicolette Hernke, high school art teacher, comments, “When the district is talking about cutting a .4 position in art because of too small of a class sizes, they are talking about potentially eliminating possible art electives. Smaller class sizes allow students more time on the potter’s wheel, extra time in the developing room, and more opportunities to excel in the arts.  It would be devastating.

The blooming actors and actresses in the school will be suffering right along with the art students as another cut being discussed is to the fall musical. It has been proposed that the theater department put on a musical only every other year, giving students less of a chance to participate. Senior, Carley Norton, who has had the opportunity to be in every fall musical the school has put on states, “The musical is our big ticket thing, it brings in the most people, and it’s the most fun, and it’s the most enjoyable. It’s a lot easier to be in an ensemble number dancing next to your friends, than just standing and saying your lines. Plus it gets the younger kids interested because it seems like it’s a lot of fun, even though it’s a lot of work, because it lets them have a role in the show even if it’s not that big. They get to actually do stuff that’s not just standing on stage.”

Even students who love to read are feeling the heat of potential cuts as high school librarian, Cindy DeRosier, may be cut to half time. Because DeRosier has classes to teach as well as the library to run, this cut has the potential to put the library on the back burner, along with students who depend on it. DeRosier comments on the potential budget cut stating, “It saddens me to think that the students will no longer have access to new books and to someone that can help them find and love books. I am already a .5 media specialist and a .5 tech teacher so there will be no one to do the library work if they cut the .5 IMC part of my job.”

No cuts have been made as of now and I would like to stress that the cuts discussed here are all potential. We will not know for sure what is going to happen until Monday, March 12. That’s when the board will meet and decide what cuts, if any, will be made, and Emma Conway will find out whether or not she will get another chance to excel on the debate team. Conway comments, “For a lot of kids the arts is a place where they can feel wanted. Debate is a great program at CFHS that teaches kids values that couldn’t be taught from any other program. I understand that the board has a difficult decision ahead, but I hope they find a way to keep these activities.” She, like the rest of the artists, thespians, and bibliophiles in Cannon Falls will be anxiously waiting for the school board to decide the fate of their beloved activities, and the jobs of their beloved teachers.

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Costly conundrum