Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Budget Cuts--Everyone is Doing It

Today was SnapDragon's school conference.  Tomorrow is Huckleberry's.  There were no surprises, and I don't expect any tomorrow.  What did surprise me, no it wasn't a surprise...what did sadden me was the newsletter that came home today explaining how the expected budget cuts would be affecting my children's schools.  In some ways, we are luckier than other districts.  Our class room sizes might go up a little, but they are actually keeping most teachers and not closing any schools.  In the more specific, the losses are devastating.

Our district is cutting specialists.  I don't know how it is impacting the middle schools and high schools, but for the elementary schools it is across the board.  Currently every school has two out of three specialists--P.E., Library (ITT), or Science.  Huckleberry's school has the first two and SnapDragon's school has the second two.  Next year they will have no specialists though the libraries will be open for use and some Librarians will stay with less hours.

I am most upset about the science teacher (who does get to stay at the school as a regular teacher) but who as the science teacher has the children come down from each class 3 days a week to a "lab" and is able to do continuing science education from year to year.  The librarian is, of course, helpful in keeping the library neat and the collection up to date, but she also teaches the children power point and the Dewey decimal system and how to research and use the computers.  There will not be time for all of this anymore and the teachers who were able to work on their own curriculum and class projects during specialist time (including P.E.) will have only more to teach and less time to prepare.

I know how dedicated and hard working the teachers are at my children's schools.  Their passion is not always rewarded with successful students; state tests say our schools are failing as badly as the rest of my state's public schools.  I understand we are out of money.  I believe the best key to a child's success in school is parental involvement.  I do not know the solution.  

What I do know is that one more blow has been dealt to all those teachers, administrators, specialists, bus drivers, and lunch ladies* who still pour their heart and soul out in an effort to help and educate children.  Maybe my children's schools will rise from the beating with continual hope and renewed dedication...this time...but maybe someday they'll give up.

Why not?  So much of society already has.  I am certainly losing heart.  What kind of future does our country have then?

*SnapDragon's lunch lady continually followed up on him after the death of his grandma last year because he was so clearly sad--and he usually brings a sack lunch.

1 comment:

Becky said...

My girls aren't in school yet, but the district we live in is experiencing the same kind of thing. I feel for your kids and the teachers and staff of your district. My prayers are with you.