The Student News Site of Oakdale High School

The Oakdale Post

The Student News Site of Oakdale High School

The Oakdale Post

The Student News Site of Oakdale High School

The Oakdale Post

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FCPS Budget Cuts Put Programs At Risk

Inside+point+of+view+of+the+Frederick+County+Board+of+Education+meeting+where+budget+cut+discussion+took+place.
Taylor Pino
Inside point of view of the Frederick County Board of Education meeting where budget cut discussion took place.

The FCPS Board of Education has had to make some tough choices to address a $50 million gap in its budget before the end of the school year. As a result, they have considered changing the ratio of student access to Chromebooks, increasing class sizes, and increasing athletic fees from $95 to $205.

They’ve also been in the process of considering cutting certain classes such as world languages, art programs, and possibly more. This also includes high school journalism classes in the English department.

During the Board meeting on May 15, 2024, many community members expressed their disapproval of these cuts. “We could get rid of every central office position, and it would not meet nearly $50 million that we need to close this budget,” stated Board member Casey Day, addressing concerns. “This budget work will continue to be a pain point, and we will all feel it,” showing that no matter what, some things will have to be cut.

French teacher Nissa Quill, along with history teacher Ronnie Beard at Oakdale High, both acknowledged the concerns voiced by the community. “We are all stressed and saddened by the cuts. We are worried about our colleagues and students and how this will impact education in FCPS,” Quill empathized. “This affects educators across the county because people have to be moved to other buildings.”

Beard adds, “The administration in the buildings has to make tough decisions to excess people and involuntarily transfer them due to directives from their bosses. It is difficult because you form those relationships.”

Quill claims that the school board will choose options that least impact the student experience, suggesting the needs for measures “such as” a four-day week, rather than cutting programs directly impacting students. 

 “We can suggest alternatives for the school board, but the fact is we have a multimillion-dollar deficit, and it needs to be zeroed out by June. We have to have a balanced budget. We are not the federal government and cannot run on a deficit,” Beard remarked, acknowledging the complexities of the situation.

In the decision-making process, both teachers recognize that Oakdale is at risk of losing valuable programs. However, they do not have a full view of all the factors involved, leaving them and other community members feeling left in the dark. The teachers can only hope the School Board is trying its best to ensure everyone can succeed.

“Teachers aren’t really individually a big part of the decision-making process like this. There are too many of us, and it would be difficult for them to involve all of us. We do contribute as a group. Our FCTA negotiates for us, we participate in meetings, and can send input via email and Google Meet. We have a voice,” Quill communicated.

Beard added that this was done in collaboration with multiple associations to ensure people wouldn’t lose their jobs. Both teachers feel like this could have long term consequences. “If there aren’t some permanent fixes to the situation in the next year, then this could have devastating consequences for the school system,” Quill stated. 

“This will ripple for years to come. When you cut programs, it is very hard to bring them back unless you have the money and budget to do so,” Beard says, showing his concern.

If this issue is impactful to you, Quill suggests that you “should continually and specifically send emails and correspondence to the Board of Education to let them know what your priorities are. If you do or do not think a tax increase is needed, that should be expressed. You should also let them know what your priorities are,” she recommended.

It is evident that the budget cuts are a difficult reality, with the potential to impact students, teachers, and the overall quality of education. By working together, the community hopes FCPS can find a solution that preserves the quality of education while also addressing the financial deficit.

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About the Contributor
Taylor Pino, Writer
Taylor is currently in 10th grade and took the class for fun. She hopes to have a good second semester here.
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