The news is out: Hood River County School District is looking at numerous cuts, leading to job losses, classroom programs and sports reductions, and buildings being sold or "repurposed."
The $3.5 million solution will be difficult, but the community has the chance to weigh in at upcoming forums - details on page A1.
We look forward to a constructive engagement between our educators and the community.
Here are three modest proposals to help start the conversation:
• Art, music, and PE: For an example of how the community can play a role counteracting budget cuts to these areas, look no farther than the Art Week program featured on page A1.
• Teacher and classified cuts: The Education Association could work with its members to coordinate a volunteer program for retirees receiving payments in the Public Employee Retirement System (PERS): participants would donate their time and expertise back to the schools. Yes, we mean asking teachers who retire at 55 to come back to the schools and donate a few months of their time.
• Athletics: How about some creative game scheduling? Since teams must travel, group the contests or competition days. Work with other schools to create jamboree-style events, particularly in pre-seasons.
Those are just three ideas. Many more are needed, and now is the time. The schools have never needed creative thinking more than they do now.