Parents plan to pick up state's slack

Published 01/28 2013 05:16PM

Updated 01/28 2013 06:19PM

ROYAL -- Parents are stepping up after finding out teacher positions in the district are on the chopping block. Since the school is getting less money from the state, the Prairieview-Ogden School District needs to cut hundreds of thousands of dollars from next year's budget. So parents in the community are taking action to try to keep their teachers. WCIA-3's Anna Carrera finds out about their plan of action.

Many schools in the state are facing issues like this. When schools need to cut budgets, teachers are usually on the line. PVO needs to make up for a $290,000 deficit. Giving three teachers pink slips would take care of that, but parents aren't giving in so easily.

"They do better in life," said Lonna Pruitt. "They do better in high school. They do better on their college entrance exams when they have such a small class size when they're younger."

Those are just some of the reasons Pruitt is stepping up. She went to PVO as a child. Now, her son, Cole, is a first grader in the same building. But Cole's teacher may not have a job there next year.

"The state's in a mess, and when they have a mess, it feeds down to everybody else," said Victor White, who is the superintendent for the district.

The school used to get about $500,000 a year from the state. Now, it's down to just $140,000. So three teachers may be out of their classrooms.

"I'm third on the list," said Cole's teacher, Laura Kelly. "So hopefully, if this money comes through, I might be able to stick it out for one more year."

That's where Pruitt comes in. She heard an anonymous donor gave $50,000 to the school.

"If that donor was willing to give money, then maybe there's more in the community that would be willing to give," said Pruitt. 

Schools will start getting money from new windmills in 2014. But that's still a year away. So teachers said they're hoping for the best.

"We're really lucky to have such a strong community and strong supporters and the parents are, it's amazing that they would do that for us," said Kelly. 

Pruitt helped send letters to all parents in the district first. Now, they're reaching out to everyone who lives in the area.

If they raise the money, there's no guarantee the teachers will get to keep their jobs, but the principal said all the money will go toward the district's education fund.

If you want to help, you can contact Pruitt at or (217) 841 - 1799 to make a donation. You can also bring donations directly to the school.

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