EUGENE, Ore. — The 4J School District could be looking at even more cuts. The superintendent made the announcement Thursday.
4J administrators say they’re being forced to consider more cuts to services and jobs. While nothing is set in stone yet, parents and staff had plenty of opinions.
“It’s really difficult for the kids to get the services they need already, so it kind of bothers me,” said parent Sarah Ritchie.
Ritchie is a mother with two kids, both in the 4J system at Bertha Holt Elementary.
“What more can they cut out? They’re running skin and bones as it is,” Ritchie said.
And while it may not seem like it at times, 4J administrators feel exactly the same way.
“You know I’ve been saying we’re cut down to the bone, but we’re down to the marrow. We’re down to some serious issues in terms of our finances,” said Sheldon Berman, 4J Superintendent.
The announcement of further cuts in services and jobs was not made easily.
“In drafting the letter to the staff about what was about to happen, there’s the understanding that this is painful. Nobody wants this to happen. It’s not in the best interest of the community. It’s not in the best interest of the children,” Berman said.
Staff at the district’s school were understanding, but naturally concerned. Howard Elementary music teacher Ruth Root says she’s seen several extensive cuts in her department over the past few years.
“I really fear for this district. When I came to this district in 1979 with children enrolled in 4J, I was thrilled with the opportunities they had for arts, and now it’s just devastating,” Root said.
While options have been discussed, nothing has been decided yet. Everyone has their fingers crossed this won’t be the final resolution to their financial woes.
“I just hope they’re able to figure something out without jeopardizing the children’s education,” Ritchie said.
The district has already decided to move forward with a bond measure which will help, but won’t cover the whole distance. The superintendent says they will still need to find more sources of additional revenue.