Keep Up Good Work in Bellaire

Congratulations, Bellaire. Your school system is yours again. More than eight years of hard work and sacrifice have paid off in a school system state officials no longer view as a fiscal emergency.

State supervision of the school district began in 2009, when it became apparent the system needed to make deep cuts in spending to be able to pay its bills. Since then, major financial decisions have had to be made with state approval.

Getting Bellaire schools back on track financially required eliminating about 60 jobs, along with important programs. Doing so was absolutely necessary, especially in view of district voters’ repeated refusal to approve tax increases.

It all paid off this week, when state Auditor Dave Yost visited Bellaire to formally announce an end to state supervision. Bellaire’s Board of Education now will have the final say on all financial decisions.

But in joining local officials in the celebration, Yost cautioned the action “does not mean everything is hunky-dory. There’s still challenges the district has… This is a first step, not a last step, for this district.”

Precisely. Each and every meeting of the local school board will mean tough decisions to keep the district’s finances on an even keel — and to find ways to economize so additional resources can be available to replace some of those lost programs.

In other words, all involved in pulling the Bellaire Local School District up by its bootstraps are to be commended for their good work — and encouraged to keep it up.