Thursday, March 12, 2009

In Face of Budget Cuts,
Principals Get Creative

The economy is on edge, and schools are certainly not immune to the current downturn. That fact has spurred some principals to take matters into their own hands -- like the Arizona principal who took her school’s need for supplies public. She posted this telling message on her school’s marquee:


It’s a “sign of the times.”

Some people think the appeal was a humorous attempt to draw attention to a need. But Principal Debra Drysdale told the Yuma Sun [read the article] that the marquee message she posted was a serious appeal. While she knows her teachers will spend money out of their own pockets for anything their students need, she hoped this very public plea -- posted in large letters above the school’s phone number -- would result in some help. And it has. Drysdale says there has been “quite a nice response” from community members, parents, and passersby.

Facing similar budget constraints in Florida, Principal Dominick Ferello is taking a different approach. He recently invited local business leaders to a “power breakfast” at his school, Explorer K8 School in Spring Hill, in an attempt to draw attention to its needs. Representatives of nearly two dozen local businesses showed up. They were asked to take a look at a list of items posted on a wall display and invited to sign up to fulfill a need. [Read the St. Petersburg Times article]

Tough times like these require some out-of-the-box thinking, and that’s what these principals are doing. Perhaps you know of other ways in which principals are raising awareness, donations, and cash as budget cuts eat into school resources?

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