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Editorial: School talks are next step to future

Declining enrollments, budget challenges and delayed state funding have become commonplace for many school districts in west central Minnesota and across the state.

These continuing challenges have brought change to all of these same school districts.

The Willmar School District just completed its first year under a restructuring plan of two elementary buildings; instead of four elementary buildings.

MACCRAY School District has restructured its school week in recent years by successfully moving to a four-day school week.

ACGC School District will be move to a four-day school week in the next school year.

Every school district in the region and many across the state have faced budget shortfalls, which have forced necessary budget and/or program reductions.

The state budget situation is not getting any better soon, with another deficit projected in the next budget cycle.

Frankly, the time has come for all school districts, their boards, teachers, staff and communities to look for innovative ways to serve their primary customers -- the students.

We commend area superintendents who are now meeting to find ways to work together across district lines to achieve both budget savings and improve their education of children.

This is an important first step in being proactive in a changing future. School districts, their employees and their students can no longer afford to keep doing things the same old way.

This cooperation discussion is a great first step toward a new future of education in west central Minnesota. The future of our school districts and our children's education is dependent upon the proactive and creative leadership at all levels of our school systems and communities.