Numbers can be deceiving at times. It all depends on how you look at things, or how they relate to you.

Take for instance life. Say a person is in a horrible accident, and doctors give the patient a survival rate of 3 percent.

Odds donít look too good, do they?

Say that same person is in the same accident, but doctors give the person a 3-percent chance to have full use of his or her right pinky finger again.

Now things are a bit different, agreed?

But, that person will have to find a way to live with the pinky issue for the rest of their life ó or until doctors come up with a miracle solution to fix it.

So, itís all how you look at it. Are you a glass-half-full type of person, or is that glass half gone?

Now say the ongoing legislative session could result in cuts to schools in the state. That cut could total as much as $197 million statewide.

The portion of northwest Kansas in our coverage area contains roughly 37 school districts, with a combined loss of approximately $6.3 million. Math whizzes know that averages out to nearly $171,000 per school in the area ó some much more, some much less.

So our portion of the cuts in northwest Kansas would amount to roughly 3 percent of the total cuts to the state.

Not bad, you say. Right? Look at what other districts might have to deal with. Some are larger cuts than our entire region combined.

Uh, OK. Letís vote on this option and see what happens. Iíve heard sometimes you have to pass a bill to see whatís all in it. Not sure thatís the exact wording I heard at one time from a nincompoop, and I canít remember who said it, but Iím sure it was said by someone somewhere.

And, Iím sure that passage turned out well for whoever was later involved.

While 3 percent might not seem like a lot to some people, it is to others. Our districts will have to face action due to legislative inaction. So will every other district in the state. No one will be immune.

At least weíre not the other 97 percent, right? Thatís one way to look at it. Each cut in dollars to a school district in our area will result in a lack of educational value ó one way or another. Someone will have to go without to make up for the difference.

If projections would hold true, Hays USD 489 would lose approximately $912,000 ó just days before the next fiscal year is planned to start. Thatís the largest hit in northwest Kansas, and Hays is the largest district. No surprise there.

The smallest cut would be nearly $47,000 to Winona-Triplains. Might not seem like a ton, but to a small district, it surely will be.

Every school in the region will take a hit, and it would have to be absorbed in some fashion. Parents and teachers will have to do more with less ó once again. And that seems to be becoming the new state motto ó Kansas: Where we do more with less.

Officials with USD 489 said the cuts would be ďdevastatingĒ to the district and every other one in the state, and ďextraordinaryĒ measures would have to be taken to account for the debacle.

The record-breaking, lengthy session of inactivity by the Legislature this year has been estimated to cost nearly $900,000 so far for the extra days. Iím sure those dollars could have been used wisely somewhere else.

Schools have been forced to react to state funding for years, and theyíve done the best they can to juggle whatever ball legislators throw at them.

But sometimes districts already have their hands full. Losing function of a pinky finger ó or part of it ó would make it harder to juggle and handle the balls.

Which brings us back to that lovely 3 percent.

And it all comes down to how you view it ó or are forced to view it.

Nick Schwien is managing editor

at The Hays Daily News.

Nick Schwien is managing editor

at The Hays Daily News.