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Faith School District Worries About Education Cuts

February 7, 2011, 10:04 PM by Austin Hoffman

Faith School District Worries About Education Cuts
Every day more than 200 students make their way to Faith. But superintendent and high school principal, Elsie Baye, says the school is struggling to find the money needed to give those students a quality education.

"We are very sparsely populated, we're a small school district. So it's a heavy burden on our taxpayers. We're already facing that," Baye said.

In fact they have to pay parents to bring their kids here because they have no bus system.

"We have some student that come 35 to 40 miles one way to school every day. So the majority of, the only bussing we do is an activity bus," Baye said.

And after their old school was condemned, they didn't have the money to rebuild.

"A series of seven trailer houses were purchased. So for about five years the students have been attending class, K through 12, in these modular units," Baye said.

With the trailer system they have set up for their classrooms, this is their hallway. And on days like today when its just above zero, kids have to walk outside to get anywhere.

"The ideal situation is they bundle up, and that, so theres extra time taken," Baye said.

Thats the issue with mainly the younger students. With the high school kids, its the exact opposite problem. But even with all of this, its not what they're most worried about.

"A ten percent cut would be a very drastic situation for our district. Because we already have so few to work with. If we looked at what they project as a cut for out district, it could possibly be at least three full time staff," Baye said.

"For elementary, our programs, we don't have an art program. The children are able right now to go to music and P.E. a couple times a week. We dont have a gifted program," Becker said.

Pre-K to 8th grade principal and special ed director Michelle Becker says right now their budget is the tightest its been in the fives years she's been here. She's now wondering how they could possibly lose ten percent more.

"I don't know where we would take it. We don't have any extra programs to cut," Becker said.

And you can't forget about the reason schools are here in the first place. To prepare these students for the rest of their lives.

"In our situation, in our school district, I really feel that cuts could have an impact on their education," Becker said.

She's also worried without any future raises it could keep young teachers from moving here, especially ones with families.

"They're going to look at the education of the district, district wide, before they make that decision,"

Both believe you can't solve problems by throwing money at them, but Baye says you still have to provide that quality education.

"What I would like to see is not always this concentration on our budget, but to have our governor and our lawmakers say our kids are first. I've been a taxpayer and I've been a parent and I think whenever I look at how I spend my money, my kids come first and what are my values. And out of all this discussion, I don't hear that coming, that our kids are first. And They're our future," Baye said.

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