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G'land residents pleads for equity in budget cuts

The budget also calls for the elimination of 36.3 special education teaching positions and a number of administration and support positions.

"We have to balance students' needs and taxpayers," said Sanders.

After his brief presentation, each member of the School Board commented on information they would like from the school district, and what they would like to see put back, or taken out of the budget.

School Board President Richard Weisz gave the most long-winded list of concerns to the district's administration.

"Do we, as a board, have any say in the health-care options we can offer the staff?" he said.

He also suggested raising the costs of parking passes to $100, and using the extra money to fund co-curricular activities.

Weisz inquired about the costs of keeping the foreign language program intact and restoring some of the special education teaching positions. He also asked the district to consider the feasibility of bringing special education students who are currently attending private school back into the district.

Cathy Barber, vice-president of the school board, said she was also concerned about staffing levels in special education. She also voiced her concerns about the district completely cutting the Foreign Language Elementary School program, or FLES.

"I'm concerned about completely eliminating FLES. Once these things are gone, they don't tend to come back very easily," she said.

Barber also wanted more information about interest in the district's German program.

"I've been hearing over the years about a low enrollment in German, and that has been an issue," she said.

A number of board members brought up concerns over the elimination of the teacher leader positions, which help to guide curriculum. Board Member Judy Slack said the addition of an administrator position will not be sufficient to make up for the loss of the teacher leader positions.

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