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Saved by the bell

Remember me telling you a local school is getting rid of their industrial arts programs, including woodshop? I have some good news.

A few weeks ago, I noted that the school where my wife teaches canceled industrial arts, eliminating two teachers, plus another teacher in the consumer science program. Although there was spirited (that’s the polite word) public reaction at the school board meeting where this was announced, the decision was set in concrete.

This did not sit well with the public – and, judging from your comments on my earlier blog, many of you – but the teachers in this school system were also against it and worked together to do something about it. The not-quite 200 teachers in the system met, and have agreed to take salary cuts for next year if those programs could be retained. The details of the cuts would make for boring reading here, but they would cover keeping those programs, including woodshop, alive for at least another year.

While the school board has not yet formally accepted the plan presented by the teachers, the early word is very positive that they will in all likelihood approve of the idea when they next convene. Thanks to the work done by the teachers behind the scenes, not to mention their personal sacrifices for the cause, at least on this one occasion industrial arts will be spared the ax.

Keep in mind, however, that this only covers next year’s programs. It’s possible that the ax may inevitably fall, but at least there will be another year for the students. Hopefully, by the time the next round of talks regarding program cuts rolls around, a more permanent solution can be found. The important thing to keep in mind is that would have been impossible had it not been for the action of these teachers to keep the programs going until then. Had they been allowed to disappear, I doubt there would have been any chance for their survival.

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