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Letter: Redirect cuts to focus on administrative side

Many years ago someone asked John Dillinger why he robbed banks. His answer was simple: "That's where the money is."

Our school district should consider Dillinger's answer when dealing with the budget shortfall. Not rob banks -- we should look where the money is in the budget.

We want maximum savings with least impact on education, so administrative salaries are an obvious starting point. Capping salaries at $100,000 would go a long way toward solving this dilemma. Most people in River Falls survive on much less.

If staff cuts are absolutely necessary, it should be administrative. Their salaries are higher, meaning fewer job losses, and they don't provide direct student contact. This maximizes savings with less pain.

Drastic cuts to student contact personnel will undermine the quality education offered in the district.

The board is considering eliminating Japanese and firing the current teacher -- a penny-wise, dollar-foolish solution. There is substantial interest in Japanese. Cutting here would mean the loss of a teacher with 20 years experience and quadruple certifications.

Jo Doughtery can teach Japanese and cover other areas -- as she always has. Her knowledge has provided students with amazing educational experiences. At Dougherty's instigation, my daughter spent a summer in Japan working with Japanese students. The trip was free because of Dougherty's contacts. My daughter was a paid camp counselor for Concordia Language Villages, during a summer when many of her friends found no work.

The district can't afford not to keep this gifted teacher.

I am not implying administrators do a poor job or what they do isn't important. But we have to look to where we can meet the revenue shortfall with the least damage to students.

Administrative salaries and positions are "where the money is."