The potential 10% reduction in state funding for K-12 education could drastically reduce the extracurricular activities Cody schools offer students.
Cody School administrators need to be creative in finding ways to retain some of those school activities while reducing funding, as extracurricular activities are a fundamental part of a well-rounded education.
The district has already made cuts in academics by eliminating elementary art teachers, three instructional facilitators and a fifth-grade teaching position and has offered early retirement and early separation programs. More cuts on the academic side may still be in the future.
However, administration has found ways to provide instruction in art at the elementary level by having current elementary teachers provide art instruction.
School principals will no longer have the benefit of instructional facilitators. They will out of necessity have to take on that task themselves, but they will survive.
A reduction in the number of teachers will force some reorganization, but will still meet class-size requirements.
Funding for extracurricular activities will need the same kind of innovative thinking.
While some sports and activities may need to be eliminated, hopefully some others may be saved by cutting funding but keeping the activity.
Travel is one of the biggest expenses for extracurricular activities and coaching stipends take another chunk out of the sports budget.
Could the school still sponsor an activity but have parents provide the travel and unpaid volunteers provide the coaching?
Cody School Board Chair Brandi Nelson said, “The magnitude of our activities indicates the passion for it in our community. It indicates historically how they have been supported.”
The passion is still there. The support is still there. However, the funding for all those activities could be drastically reduced.
Providing those activities on a reduced funding model will be challenging. We hope Cody School Board members and school administrators rise to the challenge.