EDITORIAL: At what cost?

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot

Anytime a public entity is facing a $1.5 million deficit in trying to balance its budget, it is of great concern. That’s exactly what the Greencastle-Antrim School District is now in the midst of tackling. It’s certainly no small task and extremely important as the area continues to deal with a poor economy and all that goes with it.

Do you make cuts or raise taxes?

The balancing act always leads to another question: At what cost?

One program on the chopping block for the 2012-13 school year is the director position at the Tayamentasachta Environmental Center. Of course the center is an extra that probably very few school districts in the nation have. The center has long been a unique tool in enhancing the district’s educational offerings in numerous subject areas. And this extra is something that has always been a source of pride in the community. Our students are getting an exceptional educational experience with the programs offered there. And the center, under the guidance of the director, is a treasure in the community.

At what cost do we take away the educator overseeing such a program and facility?

Future proposals would target more teaching positions, interscholastic athletics and extracurricular activities.

At what cost do we eliminate teaching positions and force larger class sizes?

At what cost do we take away the educational enrichment created by sports, band, choir and clubs?

While funding these areas is shown in dollars and cents, the benefit can’t be demonstrated so easily. That’s where the school board must make the decision of: At what cost?

At what cost does the board raise taxes to cover the shortfall?

At what cost does eliminating programs and positions have on the education of our children?

It’s an unenviable position for the school board and one we are sure they will analyze diligently in coming to a conclusion. There will be citizens on both sides of these issues. Some will be willing to pay higher taxes to keep the current level. Some definitely wouldn’t. We urge the board to listen to all citizens and make decisions while always considering: At what cost?