To the editor, 

Cambridge-Isanti Schools is facing three consecutive years of layoffs and budget cuts. The district is cutting $4.9 million dollars in the 2019-20 school year and plan to cut $2.4 million the following year, this coming just after the turmoil caused by the paraprofessional layoffs last spring. 

With the staffing cuts proposed for 2019-20 and nearly the same enrollment as last year, our students will have larger class sizes; teachers will have greater workloads, and there will be higher activity fees. 

Some of the many cuts include, five K-5 teachers, 4.5 6-8 teachers, 4.7 9-12 teachers, 17 kindergarten IAs, four SPED evaluators, three SPED teachers, 3.5 SPED IA. Some of the many other proposed cuts are to facility, staff professional development, as well as a $300,000 cut to technology and media.

While our children will face a less-than-adequate learning environment and job loss will cause diminished morale, Cambridge Isanti Schools’ administration has moved ahead with a 12.3 million dollar facility. This facility is expected to cost $1 million dollars annually to operate and includes a completely unnecessary Level IV program that is far more cost-effective than what C-I has proposed. 

The district already has access to two Level IV programs in Cambridge. This is a wasteful duplication of services. This proposal is on the commissioner’s desk at the Minnesota Department of Education for approval. If approved, there will be a significant tax increase in our community.

Our community needs to make a stand that we will not accept irresponsible financial management of our school district. The more voices speaking out the louder our message. We need MDE commissioner Mary Cathryn Ricker to hear that our community cannot afford and does not support this facility. 

We need to speak up at the Cambridge-Isanti public forum on March 19 at 6:30 p.m. Remind the school board members that they are in office to represent the individual voters and taxpayers in this community, and next election we won’t forget the board members who allow this reckless financial path to continue.

Go to this link to share your views: https://goo.gl/5DWDfc.

Contact: Commissioner Mary Cathryn Ricker

Email: mde.commissioner@state.mn.us 

Let’s not forget the board members and administrators who are responsible for these decisions in future elections.

Alecia Cox

Cambridge

 

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