The Cushing Forum was having a little debate on this issue, and it caught our interest. Here is the link to check out all the posts and answer the poll they have available.
I believe a PUBLIC FORUM is NEEDED to decide last day of 2015- 2016 School year for Cushing Public Schools, as there are extra days added to the School Calendar to account for ie; inclement weather, unforeseen events, etc......but during this 2015-2016 School year NONE of these days were necessary, so the EXTRA days should be removed and end of the School Year should reflect the removal of these EXTRA days!!!! WE SHOULD BE MINDFUL THAT DURING A TIME WHEN THERE IS A DEFICIT IN OUR STATE'S EDUCATION BUDGET AND TEACHERS ARE LOSING THEIR JOBS, WE SHOULD NOT TOLERATE SUCH WASTE OF THE EXPENSE OF ALL THE STAFF AND OVERHEAD TO KEEP THE SCHOOLS OPEN THESE EXTRA DAYS.....IF OUR SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT AND SCHOOL BOARD BELIEVE SUCH A WASTE IS WARRANTED, PERHAPS THEY SHOULD FORFEIT THEIR PAY TO FOOT THE BILL FOR THIS EXCESSIVE AND UNNECESSARY EXPENSE, AND PERHAPS EXPLAIN TO TEACHERS IN OTHER SCHOOLS IN OUR STATE HOW THEY JUSTIFY SUCH WASTE. THIS IS TAXPAYER MONEY AND IN A PUBLIC FORUM, TAXPAYERS CAN HAVE A SAY IN THIS MATTER!!!!! THIS IS A DECISION FOR THE PUBLIC, AS OTHER SCHOOLS HAVE ALREADY TOOK THE INITIATIVE TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUE IN A PROPER PUBLIC FORUM, AS OPPOSED TO TRUSTING THIS DECISION TO A SUPERINTENDENT OR A BOARD, WHOM ALSO ARE PAID WITH TAXPAYER MONEY TO MAKE. I HAVE HEARD MANY PEOPLE WHO ARE FOR AN AMENDED END OF SCHOOL YEAR DATE, THAT REFLECTS THE REMOVAL OF THE EXTRA!!!!! DAYS!!!!
Now that's obviously a passionate statement by Ms. Spencer - Melissa Hall Amon responded to Ms. Spencer's statement with this information.
As a school official, I can tell you that Cushing does not build extra days into their calendar. It is approved every year at a school board meeting which is a public forum. While it is true that most Oklahoma schools are facing a serious budget crisis, Cushing is in a unique position. Because we receive our funding from local ad valorem taxes and not from the state funding formula, we are not facing the same budget crisis as other districts in the state.
The monies that will be spent for the remainder of the 2015-2016 school year have already been budgeted for that purpose and there is no financial reason for us to make any changes. The schools that you see who are changing their calendars are doing this because they are being forced to make tough choices because of a state revenue failure caused by our state government. They are not making these decisions simply because there are extra days on the calendar or because it is what is best for kids or for student achievement. They are making these choices because it is what has to be done to keep the doors open and they are in a dire situation where they are having to choose the best of the worst options. Fortunately, Cushing is NOT in this position. We are financially sound. There will be no budget cuts. There will be no teachers or support staff losing their jobs.
I am sure that given the choice to return to full five-day school weeks and calendars with adequate funding to support this ALL districts across the state would make this choice. Unfortunately, that is not the case for many at this time, but we in Cushing are fortunate enough to be in a place where we don’t have to deny our children access to a full school year. As for trusting these decisions to the Superintendent or the Board of Education, it is their jobs to make these decisions. Board members are elected by the public to represent them and their interests and the members of the board are charged with overseeing the work of the Superintendent. Board meetings are open to the public and meeting dates/locations are posted on the school website. The board members are not paid for their service; they are elected volunteers who are doing a service to their community. If you have any additional questions, you can contact me at the CPS district office at (918)225-3425.
What's your stance on the issue? Answer the poll on the Cushing Forum Page. Gather the facts and let your voice be heard. Thank you to both ladies for raising the question and the healthy use of public debate to inform and engage the community. More discussion/information is always better than less.