Schwartz: Cut what doesn't affect classroomsAcknowledging that the District 833 School Board will have to make cuts in the next year's budget, Katie Schwartz said cuts should be kept away from classrooms.
By: Judy Spooner, Woodbury Bulletin
Acknowledging that the District 833 School Board will have to make cuts in the next year's budget, Katie Schwartz said cuts should be kept away from classrooms.
“It's so hard to cut,” she said. “Small cuts should be made everywhere before you cut programs.”
Schwartz also would want a list of budget-cut recommendations from administrators “who know what the district needs and what it can do without,” she said.
While she served on the District 833 committee to draw new attendance boundaries, a suggestion was made to house the Spanish language immersion program where it could be expanded, but that couldn’t be accomplished, Schwartz said.
She likes the program, which is not for children whose parents want them to be bilingual. Before expansion is even considered, Schwartz would want more information about the need, the number of children who would register and a plan that would not negatively affect Crestview Elementary School, where the program is currently housed.
Schwartz likes the idea that, under the federal No Child Left Behind Law, schools can see where each student is at, but she’s troubled by labeling a school as “not making adequate progress” when a small number of children didn't pass.
“It bothered me to get a letter saying students could go to another school,” she said. “Pullman is a good school.”
Each child should be looked at individually, Schwartz said, because not all children learn the same way.
She's concerned about kids on free and reduced-price lunches, a federal measure of poverty, and students for whom English is a second language. “I want to make sure they get what they need,” she said.
All children should be treated equally, said Schultz, who has a daughter who has attended classes for gifted and talented students and a son in the autism program at Grey Cloud Elementary School.
Before the recently enacted state homestead property tax law was enacted, Schwartz could have supported a referendum for more money to operate schools, but not now. The law could result in increased property taxes for some.
“With that change, we need to back up and take a second look because of the economy,” she said, adding that she supports renewing existing referendums.
City: St. Paul Park
Education: Park High School graduate
Occupation: Stay-at-home mother, volunteer for St. Paul Park Athletic Association.
Family: Husband, Tony; four children, ages 15, 8, 7 and 15 months