Archive for February 25th, 2010

After attending countless Columbia School Board meetings and forums, I never seem to leave without hearing something about budget cuts and the hard times Columbia is experiencing. Well, compared to an article I found today, let me be the first to say, Columbia could be doing a whole lot worse.

An article in the New York Times today, told a story about a troubled town losing its much-needed high school. The school board in Central Falls, Rhode Island, told Central Falls High School that it would be eliminating all faculty as part of a “turnaround” plan for the district.

The high school is located in Rhode Island’s poorest city and has been performing under par. As a result, the school is losing 74 teachers and 19 staff members.

Let’s take a look at the numbers.

Central Falls:

  • population of 19,000
  • 63 percent of Central Falls High School receive free or discount lunches
  • 13.8 percent unemployment rate
  • 48 percent graduation rate


  • population of around 100,000
  • 42 percent of students receive free or discount lunches
  • 6.1 percent unemployment rate
  • 85.7 percent graduation rate

Earlier this month, I reported on a Columbia School Board meeting where budget cuts were discussed. The district will be cutting over $5 million and around 60 staff positions across the district. Sixty positions across almost 30 schools seems minuscule compared to the 70+ cut at a single high school.

I would enjoy to hear your comments on this. Does this make you feel better or worse about Columbia Public Schools budget cuts?

*(Figures from Census, OSEDA and Kids Count 2009)

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