Thursday, May 5, 2011

Speaking out

     Tonight we had the second public input session on our proposed FY12 budget. I wish I could personally thank each of the parents, teachers, school nurses and retirees who took time to come to the meetings and spoke about their concerns.  Board Directors and members of the Administration are taking careful note of what is said, and we are endeavoring to answer all questions that have been raised. It has been heart-breaking to hear the worry in the voices of the mothers who came out tonight to support our nurses, some of whom face potential layoff because of the governor's proposed elimination of the state money that supports them.  And the nurses who spoke this evening gave the audience a clear idea of how much they do for children in our schools.
     Let me take a moment to direct attention to a couple of budget documents we have on our portal.  They may shed some light on what the challenges are.  First, here's a link to our Companion Guide for Parents.  I really like this document for its clarity.  The final page of the Guide is actually a form that our parents can use to write about their concerns and then either mail or fax it back to us. 
     Here's the direct link to the Finance Department's budget pages on the portal.  Be forewarned: the Line Item document is 510 pages long.  Reading it on the web is a better option than printing it! 
     Consider coming to one of our meetings.  The statutory public hearing is May 19, at Central Services, 5225 W. Vliet Street, in the Auditorium.  Here is the full list of meetings. 
     I hope to see you, and frankly, to hear your voice during our process.