Friday, May 06, 2005

A Letter from the President (of the Board of Education)

Toady I am baking bread for a Odyssey of the Mind bake sale tomorrow. This will be the third Friday of baking for OM bake sales. I double the basic bread recipe and use seven grain bread flour for the second batch.. I can turn out 16 loaves of bread in a day and still make it to work at 4 pm, but it's a marathon. I had to buy four more bread pans to get up to this speed, since I need let some loaves rise in pans while the others bake. I'm thinking I could do even better if I owned 12 bread pans and baked them 6 at a time...

Ingredients for bread are just not that expensive, yet a loaf will fetch $3 easily. My family is so used to home made bread that I forget how much other people crave it.

Today I will reprint a letter from Leland School Board President Molly Hyde to State Senator Michelle McManus.

Dear Michelle,

As you must be aware, Michigan school funding is in crisis. As the president of the Leland School Board, I have been very involved in dealing with our district’s budget. In the last few years we have made over $500,000 in cuts. To date we have managed to keep these cuts as far away from our kids and basic program as possible, but all cuts ultimately affect the program. We have eliminated several sports, after-school clubs and enrichment programs, field trip budgets, delayed purchases of texts, etc. – all valuable experiences that contribute to a students learning - in addition to staff cuts. All of this, and we still need to cut more to balance our budget.

Growing insurance and retirement benefits for professional staff are a major part of our increasing costs on a yearly basis. While it is extremely important to find ways to contain these spiraling costs now, that is only part of the problem.

Proposal A has been “tweaked” over 70 times since it was unanimously adopted by the voters in Michigan – to the detriment of state school funding. Proposal A needs to be restored to its original form. The way it stands now, the gap between rich and poor districts is as wide as it was when Proposal A went into effect and there is a state education budget deficit of at least $550,000,000/year. This is the direct result of those “tweaks”. The commitment to our state public education needs to be an immediate priority of our legislators. The students and voters of Leelanau county need you to be a leader on this matter.


Molly Hyde

President, Leland Board of Education

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