Passage of the Loyalsock School District budget last week produced a tough, emotional night in which it was difficult to argue with either side.
On one side was a "fiscally responsible" budget that includes a 0.25 mill property tax increase and still an $85,000 deficit.
But that budget includes cutting eight paraprofessionals from full-time to part-time status, many of them providing unique services to children in the district.
The sentiment of the mother of a special needs students to "fund needs, not wants," can't be argued with.
The sentiments of Kirk Bower, Loyalsock Township Education Association president, also can't be argued with. He implored the district, "don't cut the crew," and pointed out that people, not just positions, should be considered in these budget cut discussions.
Given that backdrop and the convictions expressed, it would seem to us that there are two bits of soul-searching that need to be done between now and the end of June by the district.
Did the district do all it could to produce a tidy, tight budget in all of the non-instruction areas of the spending plan?
If the answer to that question is yes, there is only one other place to go, if everyone is as sincere as they seem to be on both sides of this argument.
Administrators and faculty have to look at their own salary and benefit plans and ask themselves if they are willing to make changes that produce more wiggle room in the district budget.
If they aren't willing to do that, then the district, by fiscal necessity, will have to make the best of the budget situation they've arrived at.
It's the sort of reality faced in private business every day.