Three Village's outgoing school board president on Tuesday called for the community to challenge traditional ways of thinking about school funding, saying more flexibility and creativity are necessary for the district to thrive going forward.
"I think people have to realize this is an entirely new world," Diviney said. "One of the reasons we’re making the cuts, or looking at the type of cuts that we normally wouldn’t make, is we don’t have the luxury of operating in the world the way it was" before the most recent election cycle or budget vote.
His remarks were met with applause from the approximately 200 people present at the meeting.
Diviney pointed to the tax cap legislation along with unfunded state education mandates as part of the reason why such new thinking is necessary.
"We can sit and bemoan [it], as I have done, complaining the law is stupid, the law is terrible, they’ve put a burden on us without taking away the mandates," he said, "but we don’t have the ability to change that. We have to react as best as we can."
Among the ideas Diviney suggested were the creation of endowments to fund certain positions or extracurricular activities outside the budget, considering different ways of structuring the schools, and looking for more cooperative agreements with neighboring school districts.
He said the entire community needs to come together to preserve the quality of the school district.
"We’re going to have to be flexible," he said. "We have recognize as a group we’re going to have to make changes every single year because if we simply are going to make incremental cuts every single year, to come back two, three, five years from now ... it’s not going to be the same [school district]."