Finding a middle ground

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Every now and then members of a board, council or other governing body just don’t agree on a matter at hand.

Fortunately, most of the time when this happens within local governing bodies things stay pretty civil.

Such was the case Tuesday when members of the Picayune School District Board of Trustees could not agree whether to allow the cut of 20 slots in the Early Head Start program, especially when it included reinstating an employee previously cut due to budget constraints.

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This is a tough choice for anyone; do you reduce services, or cut staff?

No matter how you sell it, the cut would mean 20 less children will receive the services offered by this worthwhile program. Each Board member opposed to the proposal saw the move as bad business practice.

But those who supported the move saw the matter from the standpoint of Early Head Start staff, who are said to already be overworked.

No matter what profession you are in, in today’s economic climate you more than likely feel overworked.

Organizations and companies dealing with declining revenue, cut positions.

After that cut those responsibilities are doled out to the remaining staff. It’s rare that positions are reinstated after being cut.

So, while we see the positive aspect of reducing the workload by reducing slots and reinstating staff, everyone needs to keep in mind that those slots are not just empty seats, they are 20 missed opportunities to provide a child in need with the service that will provide them with a better life.

Somehow, the Board of Trustees needs to find a middle ground where at least some of those slots can be saved while at the same time reducing the workload on the remaining staff.