Pequea Valley Parents Weighed In On Proposals

Emotions ran high on Thursday when Pequea Valley parents weighed in on proposals to solve the district’s budget challenges through a combination of cutting programs and consolidating the elementary schools.

About 30 visitors, including parents and students, sat quietly while district officials presented the latest figures to the board.

At its last committee meeting, the board examined the two options for consolidating Salisbury and Paradise Elementary schools by grade.

But Superintendent Erik Orndorff said Thursday he is putting any school consolidation on the back burner for the upcoming school year. Earlier this month, he suggested that some form of consolidation at Paradise and Salisbury elementary schools might be possible next school year.

“If we’re going to do this, I want to do it right” Orndorff said, by waiting until the 2014-15 school year.

“I really think that it would be in poor judgment to do anything in ’13-’14.,” he said. “For one reason, we’re not going to get a lot of money out of it.”

Orndorff was meeting with business manager John Bowden and other district officials Friday, April 12, “to talk about some things that are necessary but not nice.” The district has already made some adjustments with retirements and anticipated resignations, Orndorff said.

He and Bowden hope to return with additional proposals at the next committee meeting.

“I know what fluff is there,” Orndorff said, “and I want to trim as much fluff as we can without hurting the kids.”

Many parents choked back tears as they talked about the negative impact of cutting programs such as music, Spanish, business education and sports.

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