The Great Recession is hitting home...
Thankfully, hubby and I still have our jobs - but our kids are about to be massively impacted. And that really, really bothers me.
See, in Oregon, there's some screwy way they fund schools. Even in good times, they don't get much money (kindergarten is only partially funded, for instance - so we have 3-day-a-week kindergarten, and some PUBLIC schools charge TUITION for the other 2 days). So with the economy tanking, unemployment in the state at 10% and rising...that state income tax isn't generating near the revenue it used to.
So our schools are facing a HUGE revenue shortfall - they've been warned to plan for a 15% reduction.
My lovely little town has just 3 schools - elementary, middle, and high school (all in a row no less). All told, a bit over 1200 kids between the three. Pretty small, huh?
And yet, Monday they are having a community meeting to discuss the need to cut $1.2 MILLION from the 2009-2010 budget. I just can't wrap my mind around that - it's roughly $1000 less PER STUDENT.
How are we going to do it? I just don't know. There's all kinds of rumors - going to 4-day-per-week schedules, laying off multiple teachers, cutting out music and PE. There's even a rumor of combining 2nd and 3rd grade - and that's just what I'm hearing from the elementary school. All I know is, this is HORRIBLE for the kids and their education - but what the hell can I do about it? Not like I could sell my house and move - all the other Oregon districts are in the same boat. And finding another job in another state right now - yeah, right.
I'm so frightened.