Students left school early with signs protesting school funding, encouraging the community to pickup where the state won’t cover…
What are your thoughts?
======= THE FOLLOWING FROM THUNDERBOLT PRINCIPAL =======
Funding for education in Arizona has been a highly debated topic for some time now. Every school district in the state has seen their funding decrease year after year and Lake Havasu Unified School District #1 has not been immune to these cuts. As educators, we have turned to the state time and time again looking for answers on how to fund our schools. The answer that is handed down to us year after year is to go to our community for a bond or override. The bottom line is the state points its finger at the community to support education.
Recently our staff members received news that insurance rates for our Employee Benefit Trust were going to increase at an astronomical rate which would have an adverse affect on our staff members’ take home pay. As this news was shared, staff members of Lake Havasu Unified School District #1 gathered together to take a unified stand sending a message, “Enough is enough”. This message has been delivered to the district office as well as the Governing Board and staff was heard. Though this message has been delivered and heard in many ways by these two governing bodies, the problem remains at the state funding level. Evident in the ranking of per pupil funding by each state, Arizona is ranked 48th out of 50.
As Lake Havasu Unified School District #1’s staff has unified their stance, it has become highly publicized and is garnering much attention. Recently it has come to the attention of the Lake Havasu High School and Thunderbolt Middle School staff that students want to show their support by conducting a walk-out on Thursday April 28th at 10:00am. On multiple social media sites, Thunderbolt students have shared their plan to walk to the district office as well as down McCulloch Blvd with Lake Havasu High School students. This type of plan causes great concern for the safety of our students. Leaving school at this time of day would NOT constitute a full day of school and would need to be made up, which is counterproductive to students’ reasoning for walking out. When there are large groups of unsupervised teenagers, poor decisions may be made which can result in action by the law.
Thunderbolt and Lake Havasu staff cannot support this overt act to show support, however we do understand our students want to show support for our staff and be involved. We encourage our students to send their powerful message to our community in a similar manner as our staff through the use of planned and intentional presence at key meetings and events, through social media and through direct communication with our state leaders.
I urge you to have a conversation with your Thunderbolt student/s to help them understand there are different ways to show support for Lake Havasu Unified School District #1’s staff. I am thrilled we have students who want to show support, but I believe their efforts need to be directed to the correct venue and time.
I will be sharing a message from Mr. Becker, LHHS principal, with our students
I thank you in advance for your support in this matter and appreciate the support of the students towards our staff members.
Mari Jo Mulligan