Businesses throughout the region the entire state, for that matter are having tough times balancing their budgets and plannning for the future. But the Hesperia Unified School District is facing about as many challenges as any organization.


How does the district, whose mission it is to educate 20,000 students, close a $7 million gap? The answer is, not easily.


First we learn that the school district is considering trimming its alternative education, a program which is a source of pride for the district. Every year, hundreds of students who might otherwise fall through the cracks complete their high school education and discover a new direction. But tough decisions must be made, and it's possible that one of the district's schools, Canyon Ridge, could be closed down.


Another area they are looking at is possibly cutting back the school police program. Hesperia schools have a reputation for being safe. That's one reason why I personally moved to this city after a report of an incident at Victor Junior High School. As a result, my daughter went to Ranchero Middle School and Sultana High School, where she received a solid education. Today, she is excelling at a UC school. Would that have happened if she had gone to a Victorville public school? It's hard to say. But as her parents we didn't want to take any chances. We wanted her to go where it was safe.


The latest, we learn, is that the school district may have to give pink slips to as many as 46 teachers. Besides the loss those teachers will feel, many students and parents also will be affected. Cutting that many teachers has to have an effect.


But if you had to cut $7 million where would you start? What would you cut? Superintendent Mark McKinney, who has requested his salary be reduced to share the burden, and the five school board members were wrestling with ideas during a budget meeting last Thursday. It's starting to hurt, and their hearing our pain. Soon they will have to make some tough decisions.


And it's not going to be pretty.


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I hope you fared well during the last rainstorm. Over the past several months, our office has sustained numerous roof leaks, which have poured water onto our carpeting, etc. Luckily we were spared this time, but our neighbor sustained damage as leaks soaked some of his floor, retail display case, and narrowly missed his cash register.