West Grand moving forward | SkyHiNews.com

West Grand moving forward

Kevin Chalfant
Superintendent of Schools
West Grand School District

West Grand moving forward

By Kevin Chalfant

West Grand Superintendent

Last Tuesday was a day that is cherished in American democratic tradition: the day we vote. It is the chance when “We the People” get to exercise our voice through our vote. This is true whether we are voting for a national office, state initiative or local bond issue. While I am thankful that the residents of Colorado voted down the overreaching Amendment 60, 61 and Proposition 101; I am disappointed that the residents of West Grand chose not to support their local school district on 3A. Having expressed my personal opinion, I also respect the will of the people and will direct our school district accordingly. When you count the number of parents who have children in K-12 and add parents of pre-school, grandparents and staff members who live in the county, we can only say that we are the ones who determine the education our children and grandchildren will receive. This block of voters more than outnumber the “No” voters on 3A.

On the positive side, there were 532 residents that took the time to support the pursuit of excellence at the West Grand School District with their vote. I personally want to thank you for your efforts and support. We will continue to seek your support as we move forward with less resources in an era of demanding challenges for both the school and school families.

On Wednesday morning we began the process of analyzing our current budget and preparing for the cuts that will be coming next year. $124,000 of mill levy override going away, combined with major funding shortfalls by the state, will cause the district to cut several thousand dollars from next year’s budget. This will mean cutting back on student programs, reducing services to the community and laying off more staff. This, combined with increased cost in health insurance, retirement fund, utilities, and state and federal mandates, will limit the district’s ability to build on past successes.

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The school board, through the District Accountability Committee and administration will be looking at the options over the next several months. While it has always been our desire to keep the cuts as far away from the classroom as possible, that will no longer be possible. All those types of cuts have been made the last few years. Several of those program reductions have been unpopular with the public, but it was in an effort to keep from cutting educational programs that affect students. Unfortunately, other choices will come down to reducing student programs or paying fees to participate in them.

The residents of West Grand have spoken; we will provide the education that you are requesting. We will do more with less to the best of our ability. Programs will need to be adjusted, facilities will be maintained to the best of our ability, services to the public may be more limited, activities may cost more to participate, but the quality of education will still be priority one. We look forward to working with parents and community members to offer our young people the best education possible.

We Are West Grand.

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