In the spread ... Staff shows solidarity as budget cuts loom APRIL 29, 2011 VOLUME IV ISSUE 8 DEXTER HIGH SCHOOL 2200 N. PARKER ROAD DEXTER, MI 48130
Friday, April 29, 2011
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de strike lu c in ld u o c h ic job action wh e z ri o th u a to ty asks for authori n o ti ia c o s s a ' State teachers
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Due to the downturn in the economy, it has been increasingly difficult for the state government to find money. These struggles have affected many people and entities including school districts. Under the state budget proposed by Gov. Rick Snyder, school districts would see a cut in revenue of about $320 per student for the 2011-2012 school year This means that Dexter could see a nearly $3 million decrease in its budget next year if Snyder’s budget is approved in its current form by the state legislature. Something Snyder said he’d like to see done by May 31. But timing is part of the problem according to Principal Kit Moran. “The problem is that the state completes their cycle at an awkward time for us,” Moran said. “As we plan for next year, they’re proposing to cut several million dollars from the school’s budget. In other words, we don’t know how much we have for next year. It could be bad, really bad or terrible. The only thing we can pretty much guarantee is that we won’t have more
money.” However, budget cuts are the tip of the iceberg for the district’s problems, according to Moran. “If there are major cuts, we have to decide what to cut,” he said. “Someone will be unhappy. If someone came to Dexter to play basketball, they’ll be upset if we cut basketball. If someone came to Dexter to do orchestra, they’ll be upset if we cut orchestra. Cuts will always leave someone unhappy. It’s our job to minimize just who’s unhappy.” Dexter Education Association president and technology teacher Joe Romeo also knows about the effects of the proposed budget. Using what he said is an arbitrary number to illustrate an example, Romeo said, “One more problem the district may face is that teachers could get laid off. If I was asked to pick 10 teachers to leave the school next year, I couldn’t do it. There are too many good, young teachers here, but it’s not fair to lay off veteran teachers close to retirement.” The last problem Michigan’s school districts may face is that they may not even be able to make up their own budget plans if they are in financial trouble. “Another proposition by Gov. Snyder is for new
financial managers, which will be dispatched to struggling districts,” Moran said. “These people will have full control over what the district does. If they see something that they think a district doesn’t need, they’ll have full power to cut it. So they can say, ‘Womens and mens basketball isn’t important, so that’s gone.’ That’s scary stuff, because then what’s cut is completely out of the district’s control.” These budget cuts could also hurt one of the aspects of the district that sets it apart, according to Romeo. “If there are teachers laid off, classes will need to expand to accommodate the lack of teachers. Dexter is great for its ability to have one-on-one time between teachers and students,” Romeo said. “If classes expand from 27 students to 30 students, some of that one on one time is lost.” Needless to say, no one enjoys cuts, and they always end up hurting someone, which is particularly hard on Moran. “It’s like a family,” he said. “If someone’s pay gets docked, the family goes around at the dinner table. It’s really difficult to reach a consensus, since everyone has different needs. Now, the district has the needs of 1200 students – plus their parents – to consider.”
The budget, new teachers and a lot of worry
Other bills being considered
an analysis by staff writer
•Senate Bill 171 is the budget bill for community colleges. The Senate Appropriations Community Colleges Subcommittee recommended cutting community college funding by $10 million. •Senate Bill 178 will cut university funding by 15 percent. The Senate Appropriations Higher Education Subcommittee meets Tuesday to make decisions on the proposal.
Money photo by Tracy O used with permissions under a Creative Commons license
Friday, April 29, 2011
Severe budget cuts could hit district for '11-'12
r staff write h y H a n s e n Murp
Senate Bill 183 was approved by the Senate Appropriations K-12, School Aid, Education Subcommittee. It includes a $340 per pupil cut.
Photo by Carl Schimmel
New in town: English teacher Sarah Ashman is new to Dexter this year. Ashman said she is worried about Gov. Rick Snyder’s budget proposals and what it means for new teachers’ jobs.
Michigan has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country along with a rapidly rising debt. Some think the best way to solve the problem is with drastic budget cuts and lower taxes. In fact, that was the premise that newly-elected Republican Gov. Rick Snyder depended heavily on to get elected. He said he would balance the budget, erase the state’s debt and turn Michigan back into a glorious state. But looking at what Snyder’s current agenda says, this isn’t what many educators had in mind. To help balance the budget, Snyder is proposing a 8- 10 percent cut to Michigan’s schools and a $1.4 billion cut in other programs. The current proposal would also take $700 million in public school funds and give it all to
colleges and universities, which really irritates Principal Kit Moran. “I think the state really needs to get their act together,” Moran said. Fiscal conservatives say these cuts are about saving the budget, but this plan uses all of that money they saved and gives it to corporations in the form of $1.8 billion in corporate tax cuts. This means students, teachers and administrators will lose according to Moran. “We’re planning for the worst here,” he said. “We may have $3 million dollars less to work with then last year.” And that may mean teacher cuts because 80 percent of the school’s budget goes into paying the teacher salaries and benefits. And because of seniority rules in the teachers’ contract, where teachers who have been teaching the least amount of time are the first cut in times of trouble, new teachers such as English teacher Sarah Ashman are worried, but not just for her job. She
said she’s also worried about the future of public education in Michigan. “It’s always a mistake when someone thinks you’re helping the future by cutting education,” Ashman said. “Teachers are getting slammed a lot in the press for looking selfish and wanting more. But every person with a job has been influenced by a teacher.” Moran agrees and said he hopes to avoid letting any teachers go, but he also said he knows there aren’t any promises. “I know we won’t be adding any more teachers next year, but we’re going to try to not let any of our current ones go,” he said. Teachers will be notified about the status of their job by May 31, and Ashman says she’s concerned about what’s happening now and for the future. She said, “New teachers are always worried, but with Snyder’s new budget, it’s extra scary.”
Photo by Carl Schimmel
An uphill battle: English teacher Patrick Stolkey is also a first-year teacher. Based on seniority rules, teachers first hired are often first fired.
Friday, April 29, 2010
Prom 2011: Advice for your special night
Go with your friends: By friends, I don’t mean your mother. As sweet as she is, she has no place at prom. Have a date: Couples, you’re all set. Single ladies, don’t be afraid to ask a guy. Single guys, don’t be afraid to put a ring on it. But if you’re really desperate, you can always put an ad on Craig’s List. Just be aware that as prom draws closer, the pickins get slim. Yet another reason to make plans ahead of time. You don’t want to be the guy taking the girl with one eye and a club foot. Play games: Surprisingly, the games at prom are fun. If you want to have a good time, muster up the courage to sing some karaoke. However, there is one vital tip. Please don’t take karaoke seriously. The audience is looking for a good laugh not an episode of “American Idol.” Get up there and sing some Enrique.
So you faked someone’s real life for a week and made a joke out of it. Still feel awesome?
Wait ... Who else sleeps in the school?
How do you feel about faculty members watching you sleep?
I watch them sleep... I mean what’s the difference?
How would you describe Mr. Snider’s laugh?
Can you speak of the laxatives? It’s been a popular word with survivors.
Be honest. How often do you actually bathe?
Often ... Tyler licks me clean twice daily.
Expect to dance: I know we’re all disappointed about how the dances turned out this year, but sorry people, prom isn’t any better. Think of prom as more of an event rather than a dance. Other than background music, the DJ isn’t the center event. Expect to play games and admire the wonderful decorations. And if you really want to get your groove on, come to my house. See previous section. Leave right away: The fun is only beginning when you arrive so stay around to play the Nearlywed Game and earn yourself a T-shirt. The rest of the night can be your personal Monopolyfest so try to enjoy the company of your friends and the wonderful decorations that took a very long time to make.
Like a 12-yearold girl.
Wear sweats: If you didn’t already know, this is a formal event. I don’t want to be seeing anyone in plaid pajama pants and a superman T. Also, don’t forget it’s a masquerade. You are supposed to wear masks. Have a wardrobe malfunction: Nip slips are so 2006. Cover ‘em up ladies. Keep one thing in mind when picking out your attire: What would Connie say?
with Junior Sho Harvey
Serena Bidwell (12) H--- ya!
5X5 It made me sleep better.
Get plastered at prom: Not only is it embarrassing, but no one likes that guy/girl. People don’t forget, so stay classy. No one wants to witness someone puking on the puttputt course.
Ryan Sikorski (12)
Evan Oxner (12)
Go somewhere before and after: Prom is something to do in between the other fun stuff. Go out to dinner before and hang out with your friends after. If you don’t have friends who host parties then feel free to come to my place. Attractions include: monopoly, pin the tail on the donkey, continuous “Avatar” screenings, and, of course, strawberry cupcakes.
get involved editor
It makes me feel safe.
Very similar to a 5-year-old girl.
Q- Sho! Let’s get right down to the point. Where the h--- is your hair? A- It’s in a plastic bag somewhere. I dunno exactly where that is.
Tyler Dunham (12)
Make plans ahead of time: You may have the urge to procrastinate, but this may be the only thing in high school that should not be done the night before. Gentlemen, prom is a big deal to the women of your life: girlfriend, mom, significant other. If you want to make the night special for them, it will take some planning ahead.
They don’t watch us sleep, But they make us listen to Mrs. Marsh’s obnoxious snoring.
Ponies and rainbows ...
My life is a joke already.
Q- What really inspired this decision? A- Many things but mainly because a lot of people were pushing for it, and it was time for a change. Q- Do you have a girlfriend right now? A- Yes.
Watching? Koenig and I cuddled.
So cute, which fits perfectly with his personality and good lucks.
Avery Marvel poisoned us with them.
That’s strictly between the survivors.
What happens with Team Rainbow stays with Team Rainbow
Ask the third floor bathroom.
I’ve never heard of the word bathe before.
Once ... a week.
I don’t ... I thought that was why we were doing this interview over Facebook.
Didn’t you hear? You get bonus points for not bathing.
Q- Do you have anyone on the side right now? Don’t worry, we won‘t tell Angelina. A- Nope. Q- Come on. So where do you get your breathtakingly good looks? A- My mommy. Q- How much time did you spend on your hair when it was long? A- Probably like 30 minutes each day. Q- I’m starting to warm up to your hair. What does Angelina think of it? A- She loves it. Q- Was this hair cut expensive? Because let’s be honest, you used to have a lot of it. A- Well, it was like $25 for the haircut. Q- Well Sho, I’m happy for you. You have a fantastic day, good sir. A- (Sho gives me the Sho Harvey head nod.)