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News / Opinion / Letters to the Editor
The following is presented as part of The Columbian’s Opinion content, which offers a point of view in order to provoke thought and debate of civic issues. Opinions represent the viewpoint of the author. Unsigned editorials represent the consensus opinion of The Columbian’s editorial board, which operates independently of the news department.

Letter: District budget needs transparency

By Teresa Torres, VANCOUVER
Published: April 1, 2023, 6:00am

At the March 14 Evergreen school board meeting, the superintendent proposed cuts that were purportedly least impactful to students. Not true. As one person pointed out, 40 percent of the cuts will affect elementary students, 14 percent middle school, 37 percent high school but only about 9 percent at the administration level.

As a retired FVRLibraries librarian, I was pained to see librarians cut. Equally painful are cuts to athletic directors, family resource center coordinators, at-risk interventionists and the Excel program.

One-time federal funding, inflation and a 4,000-student enrollment drop are cited as culprits. People are urged to contact their legislators and advocate for more funding for transportation and special education but a levy was just passed that supposedly would ease this crisis.

During the 2008 financial crisis, FVRLibraries knew jobs had to be cut but staff was asked for input on budget savings. Administration took a 10 percent pay cut. Jobs were lost but not as many as feared. Other cost savings were realized.

To the Evergreen superintendent, remove the mystery of how funds are spent, publish the budget and then ask for input on major changes. This leads to transparency.

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