Supporters of Belleville High School District 201’s athletic program rushed to a board meeting recently to oppose cutting the athletic directors’ administrative hours at both Belleville East and West.
The intervention was misguided on a couple levels. First, the district had already put the proposal on hold prior to the meeting.
Second, the district has to cut costs somewhere. Better that it be administrative costs rather than in the classroom.
Superintendent Jeff Dosier said this proposal could save the district more than $100,000 a year. That’s basically the salaries of two teachers. So opponents should not be so quick to deem the changes “unworkable.” It’s in students’ best interest to make them work.
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Opponents also worried this could downgrade the district’s sports programs. We doubt it, because this would not involve cuts on any athletic field. But even if that were the case, sports are extracurricular activities, meaning something that’s extra and not essential. The district’s priority is and must continue to be academics.
Dosier put it in perspective: “We have excellent extracurricular programs and opportunities for our kids, but at a time when we have to make cuts, we want to make cuts in the classroom last.”
The proposal is likely to come up again during contract negotiations in June. Some people may not like it, but we hope they will see the wisdom of what the district is trying to do and support changes that keep cuts in the classroom at the bottom of the list.