$$ gifts could bail out district | TheUnion.com

$$ gifts could bail out district

As a citizen and parent with children in high school, reading about continued education budget cuts resulting in an “expected $2.1 million budget shortfall for the Nevada Joint Union High School District over the next school year” for the “3,700 student district” worries me deeply.

Yet, I despair to read that the district’s three strategies for coping consider only more swinging cuts, resulting in still larger class sizes, shrinking teaching resources, and reduced programs – with declining educational value and quality.

By 2008, 25 percent of NU’s students were not proficient in English and math; only 4.3 percent of graduates completed requirements to be considered for UC/CSU admission; just 2 percent of students were pursuing Advanced Placement studies; and NU ranked in the 20th percentile of similar schools, having fallen steadily since 2006.

Outside help is unlikely. But can we help ourselves? Can parents and the wider community meet the financial challenge of assuring a rewarding education for our children? The budget needs greater transparency, but the entire shortfall could be met by a tax-deductible donation averaging $567.57 per student/year: less than 2 percent of the cost of a private school and about 35 percent of full-time studies at Sierra College. Their future is ours.

Howie Muir

Nevada City

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