The quote that opens this evening's Blog entry will likely serve as a collective mantra among school districts that have reluctantly come to grips with the fact their budgets fall far short of what is needed to sustain progress toward sustaining the hopes and nurturing the dreams of learners. We are not even close to an ideal position. We must persevere and maintain our direction in the best interests of those we serve.
I don't know who to credit for the introductory quote. Nor do I know who is responsible for the statement suggesting that you "play the hand you're dealt," but I'll be reminded of both of these references as I proceed with budget development and subsequently implement the outcomes of budget votes.
I don't think any school district will be immune from the impact of budget shortfalls for the upcoming year. Despite claims otherwise by those doubting the credibility of school officials and suspecting schools guilty of financial largesse, the resources available after sustained budget cuts fall short of meeting the needs of learners who are expected to successfully enter the 21st century workforce and contribute to the betterment of our nation. Given the discrepancy between resources and needs, school leaders are invariably engaged in the demanding task of prioritizing among competing and often conflicting interests and issues.
The unfortunate task of deciding which practices, programs and personnel will be effected by budget reductions is vexing and difficult. The mix of finances, politics and instruction is, like they say, "like watching sausage or laws getting made." It's never easy, nor is it without pain. The challenge mirrors the medical procedure referred to as triage.