The most difficult decisions in public school systems

School administrators and school boards have hefty loads to carry. They are caught in the middle of a tug of war between the needs of taxpayers and the needs of our local youths who are growing up in a difficult world.

The struggle is real, from all sides, and there are many.

Witness South Williamsport Area School District, where talk of furloughing teachers is on the table. This possibility, a consideration in striving to balance a budget without putting too much burden on taxpayers, brought out students, parents and teachers to voice concern at a recent school board meeting.

Even though the classes targeted have low participation, many students offered heartfelt testimonies about teachers and classes that affected their lives, many of them classes that may be cut in the next school year.

Small class sizes should be desired as they provide more time to balance time among students, teachers correctly pointed out.

“A school is a heart and mine beats there every day,” one teacher told the board.

We couldn’t agree more. A school is the heart of a community, and a community is filled with people of all ages, from birth to death.

It is vital that the community listens to all of its members with heart and supports those tasked with making the tough decisions.

Many tough decisions lay ahead, and not just in South Williamsport. Nobody wants to cut classes, and nobody wants to raise taxes. But somebody has to figure out how to make it all work.

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