DUNLAP (WEEK) - A week ago, a Dunlap School District #323 parent had garnered over 1000 signatures on a petition to keep music, art, technology and other programs in the school district. Wednesday night, the school board said those cuts were never on the table.
Board member Mike Wisdom said at the beginning of Wednesday's special meeting that, "No one on this board has proposed or entertained cutting $5 million dollars or around 60 positions."
Even after starting the meeting with that statement, over 25 concerned parents, teachers, former and current students took the opportunity to tell their own story during the public comment portion of the meeting.
The parent who started the petition, Keren Shah, was the first to speak saying, "I'm just as confused as everyone else tuning in," after Wisdom's comments.
After Shah, many more spoke including 2017 graduate and co-valedictorian Adam Aso. "While these programs may not be state mandated," Aso said, "they are what make Dunlap special."
Every single one of the 26 speakers spoke out against the possible cuts. Current senior Elijah Clar had harsh words for board members that might have been in favor of cuts saying, "Even asking for a list of possible cuts...the shear disrespect." Clar added that to consider taking away art, music, ESL, and other programs shows that, "It appears you value money over individuals."
No official agenda item addressing potential cuts was brought forward so not vote was taken. There is nothing pointing toward a vote in the near future.