The past few years of Casper’s economic downturn has been difficult for us all. The possible exception is the voracious spending in our City government. But I digress. The intent of this letter is to shine a positive light on the the Natrona County School Board’s efforts to control an unsustainable, and in my opinion, out-of-control district budget. Absent the construction of new schools, which had money set aside years ago, and was set to be lost forever (a separate budget from operations), the Board has successfully cut most of the low-hanging fat from their operations budget without layoffs or compromise to the students. Their charge, after all is the entire student body.
The board is now faced with closing four schools generating a lot of anger from parents living in proximity to said schools. When my daughter was in school she attended three different schools and flourished. My assumption was that like myself, most liked the school of choice program. Closing poorly attended or run down schools as an essential cost saving measure makes sense. Yet now the angry parents wish to tar and feather the Board (an elected unpaid governing body) for keeping the district solvent. Having sat on a number of non-profit boards where money is always tight, I know these choices are never easy. There is much less flack created by taking the low road by saying “yes” to frivolous spending and keeping constituents happy versus making the difficult decision of cutting budgets for the goal of survival. This shows true strength in leadership! For this I applaud the Natrona County School Board.