Several community members presented concerns during the public comment portion of the Fredonia Moccasin Unified School District special board meeting on Tuesday, May 19.  The majority of the speakers were citizens from Moccasin who voiced their frustrations about the possibility of the Moccasin School closure. 

The Moccasin community feels the school closure would impact the children and can be summed up in one statement made by a concerned citizen, “If you close the school you might as well take Santa Claus out and shoot him!”  

The Moccasin School has a long, proud history.  It is an integral part of the Moccasin community but is now facing potential closure due to a severe district budget deficit.  Although the district itself has been careful with its spending, state budget issues are forcing schools to take drastic measures.

After the insightful and heartfelt comments by the community, the agenda began with budget recommendations to the FMUSD Board.  The closure of the Moccasin School was not mentioned during this round of recommendations.  Members of the board decided it was necessary to take additional time to research and evaluate the proposed budget cuts.  The issue was tabled for further review.

The only other issue on the agenda was the renewal of contracts for the nine teachers that were waiting to find out if they will have jobs next school year.  Because the budget issue was tabled, the board was informed a decision could not be made on the contracts either.  Board members and district employees decided to hold a special meeting to ensure the nine teachers would know whether or not they would be returning prior to the end of school.

Board chairman Jim Goodnow addressed the community members in attendance, asking for any other suggestions to help with the budget crisis.  They would like to “think outside the box” to find the most viable solutions.  He suggested a public hearing be held where the community and board could brainstorm ideas that could be mutually beneficial for everyone.