Prepare for the worst with budget shortfalls

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 13, 2003

The election is over and now the State Board of Education is facing a $200 million financial downfall. Ella Bell, State Board of Education District 5 representative, came to Selma to the J.A. Pickard Auditorium to get feedback from parents, teachers and administrators on how the projected shortfall would change the way students learn.

She is traveling across her district to hear what the parents have to say about the financial woes of our school systems.

She stated in Wednesday’s Times-Journal that, &uot;I am very concerned that we are a district already suffering fiscal woes and we are selling our children short.&uot; Bell is correct in stating that the states economic picture and including education has been suffering. Is that because of the election? What about the legislative members and their spending?

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Different people have different thoughts as it relates to why Alabamians are facing this picture of gloom.

More recently because of the high profile election there has been more concern than before. As Gov. Bob Riley campaigned for the amendment he used the tactic that the education system would suffer tremendously. Many voters believed that this approach was just that &045; a tactic. However, voters alike have found that the fears he was talking about have come to fruition. We now know that the governor and state Superintendent Dr. Ed Richardson were not crying wolf.

The truth has come to pass and now some tough decision making is about to take place.

These are not decisions that will be made overnight, but will take days and weeks of evaluation.

People will lose their jobs. Families may have to pay for their students’ textbooks and students may have to pay the consequences of having too many students per teacher. This takes away from some children being able to get the needed attention to continue moving them up the educational ladder.

Whatever happens due to the shortfall will not be a pretty sight. We need to prepare ourselves for the worse and hope for the best.