Sunday, December 14, 2008

Budget cuts and debate

Like other schools, BNCC is contemplating budget cuts. We don't anticipate them being drastic -- but, I'm sure things will change a bit.

Right now, I'm glad I don't have to fight for a debate budget. Without a pretty decent budget, BNCC really can't do meaningful debate. BNstate sort-of has a debate circuit, but I decided several years ago --- and after several years of trying to get along/persuade folks to change --- that the local practices were counter to our educational and program goals.

In other words, the folks who dominate debate in this state are -- at best -- backwards and at worst, malevolent and anti-debate. My goal for my students was transfer scholarships. Their goal seemed to be to keep the numbers of their team up and keep the debaters from complaining to adminitration while doing as little actual debating and coaching as possible... not exactly my style.

When we got a travel budget for BNCC, we left and didn't look back.

The problem is that debate is a very intense activity. It changes the lives of the students who participate, but without a local circuit it is very expensive... So, the impact of cutting a program that involves 6-8 students is minimal, but the budget gain is large.

So -- I'm glad I don't have to start defending my debate budget, because I'm not at all sure I could do so if necessary.

I'm also glad I didn't change grad programs in order to do debate -- 'cuz I'd be in deep doo doo right now.

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