Schools must balance cash with education

Published 9:11 am Friday, April 23, 2010

School districts across Lawrence County — and much of Ohio and the entire country — are getting an education of their own when it comes to operating in the black.

The recession of historic proportions, declining enrollment and ever-inflating expenses have had a big impact on districts, some of which are finding their staffing has grown beyond what is absolutely needed.

The Rock Hill district is the most recent school system to face this challenge, announcing earlier this week that as many as eight employees — a combination of teachers and staff — will be retiring and those positions won’t be filled right now.

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The district may also look at other areas where the state has determined Rock Hill is overstaffed.

The district is making the smart move now to take advantage of this opportunity to trim staff rather than filling the positions only to have to lay someone off later.

These decisions are never easy and will likely require management analysis and more work by existing employees to continue to provide a quality educational experience for each and every student.

All county schools will likely have to continue to make these types of decisions, even though many will be very unpopular and vocal opponents will likely emerge.

But politics shouldn’t be a factor in weighing administrative decisions.

Students and their education should be the top priority but, unfortunately, administrators also have to keep a close eye on the bank accounts.

That may change one day, but we aren’t there yet.