As I sat down to talk with Polkinghorn about the budget, there was one common theme. The budget, as Polkinghorn stated, was “complicated”. “We had to make some staffing reductions that were primarily in the world language department,” he added. Another interesting factor of the total budget for the district is that close to 87% of the money is spent on paying the people who work here. That leaves 13% of the budget to be spent on other supplies such as paper and computers.
Last April, Dan Goldman was quoted in the Hood River News saying that the budget cuts for this current year would be $896,000.
Although some of the information seems dire, Polkinghorn reminds us to advocate for our education. “Be patient. You may not get the individualized attention from teachers, but that just means that you need to advocate for yourself and ask for help”. Last year, the community rallied around pushing for a greater budget from the state. The proposed budget, Mr. Polkinghorn added, was “pitiful”. The state needed to do more. “The funny thing was, it worked!” he said. The state started to listen to the complaints. That’s not to say that the budget is as good as it could be, but if we all advocate for the world we want to live in, we can really start to see some changes.