Education Budget Cuts: Who Do They Really Hurt
Sunday September 19, 2010
Sherry Howard Salois
Education Budget Cuts: Who Do They Really Hurt
Educational budget cuts are not just happening in a couple of states, but in every state across the nation. States are cutting funding to public schools, so who are these cuts really hurting The answer is simple; educational budget cuts are hurting the students who are affected by the closing schools, the loss of teachers, and closing media centers and libraries.
State funding has become one of the top concerns for many school districts across the nation. School districts are looking at closing schools within their districts to cut costs for the yearly school budget. Detroit school districts are planning to close 16 schools; Boston may shut down five schools, while Birmingham and Oklahoma City school districts have approved the closure of nine and seven schools (Reud, 2003). Saving money is what districts are trying to accomplish; Detroit is anticipating roughly a savings of $5 million for closing the 16 schools in their district (Reud, 2003). Schools district plan out their school year budget month before the state figures out the necessary budget for school funding. What is wrong with this picture States should not being waiting for months after school districts have done up their yearly budget, states should be figuring up the amount of state funding schools will be getting long before schools submit their yearly budget. The amount of money states funding gives per student should be more then what schools get, but the amount schools get is base off the number of students that attend that school, which all changes when students are moving so their family can have a better job, and when school districts are closing which causes overcrowding in schools.
When schools are closing the doors to save money, students will start to see an increase in the number of students who are attending. Students who have been affected by the closing of schools will have to be moved to another school within their district. Moving students into a facility that may already hold the max amount of student will start seeing overcrowding not just within the school but also within the classrooms. Overcrowding in the classroom will affect students by not giving them the one-on-one time students will need with the teacher, teachers will become busier with the amount of students, and teachers will be spending more time grading student??™s assignments now that the number of students in class has increased. Students will start seeing the effects of school closing once the fall semester starts; with having to starting school out in a new school district where there has been cuts to the teaching staff, an increase amount of students attending due to school closings, and possibly the loss of the media center or library within their new school.
Students will find that classroom sizes have increased due to the shortage of teaching staff. With closing schools to save more money within school districts, districts are offering early retirement to public school workers; even school teachers are being asked to take early retirement. Offering early retirement incentives can be organized to encourage seniors and higher paid employees to retire earlier than otherwise planned (Willett, 2005). When early retirement has been offered, new staff comes into the district, but with the news of budget cuts always in the media it has become harder to replace old teaching staff with new. According to Bryant ???We think the demand has softened because of budgets, not because there is some brand-new supply of teachers available??? (Blair, 2003 pg.1 paragraph 4). Preliminary data show that the demand for teachers has become low and will continue lowing until there is a handle on budget cuts. College students are now starting to wonder if they should stay in education. This is a caused by teaching and administrative jobs being cut so schools are able to save money within their districts.
When teachers are asked to start taking early retirement, this affects the students because students have started to grow a relationship and understanding to a particular teacher??™s way of teaching. Starting fresh with a new teacher could cause a student to become less interested in the classroom studies. Teachers are one of the most important people in students??™ lives; teachers give students support, push students to be the best they can be, and show students that giving everything their all then they will be able to always shine when taking on anything new. Having teachers take early retirement will cause some students to take two steps back concerning their education. Teachers are not just being asked to take early retirement, but some teachers are losing their jobs all together, teachers losing their jobs are caused from schools being closed.
Educational budget cuts not only affect schools and teachers, but the cuts also affect the media centers and libraries within the schools. Students rely on the schools media centers and libraries to conduct research for individual projects and for study material. When districts start closing these areas of the schools, it causes the students to have less access to information needed to help complete assignments or important study information for tests. Students need access to media centers and libraries because not all textbooks give students the information they need for assignments. Plus with media centers and libraries students can conduct research that will improve their knowledge on different topics of studies. Most families cannot afford to have a computer in their home, or run their student to a local library within their community so when there is not a media center or library within a student??™s school the access to the information super highway is very limited. Students who families cannot afford the necessary material needed for their students??™ education might watch as their students??™ grade slip because their student is not getting the necessary research information needed to complete their assignments or study for test. School board member need to evaluate what schools really need to being keeping within their school that will continue to help their student with their education. With the loss of media centers and libraries the next issue will come when student??™s test score are showing the effects of not having the information super highway to conduct the necessary research or study material.
When media centers and libraries those are inside the school are closed due to a lack of funding, it is not always easy for students to get to their local library to check out books. When there are over a hundred students that need to do research on one given topic, sending all students to their local library will not allow students to complete assignments on time. Students having to use their local library within their community there are going to be issues with overcrowding within this area as well, issues with not enough material to go around for all students, and not enough material within the local library for all students to check out . Giving students full access to material is key sources students need when it comes to them being able to complete and move on to higher education. Students are not going to be learning truthful information when using such website as Yahoo, Google, and Ask.com, websites do not always present correct and update information. Is it truly necessary to close media centers and libraries within schools just so school districts can save money Could there be a better solution to the problem of closing media centers and libraries Solutions to keep media centers and libraries open; school districts could start having high school students pay to play sports, put sporting events money towards keeping media centers and libraries updated and open, and another solution could be to cut back on having computers and laptops for every student to use.
As Educational budget cuts start to affect more areas of public schools, it is hard to sit back and watch as the students that attend these schools become more and more affected by the closing of schools throughout their local district, seeing particular teachers that they have grown to understand their teaching style take early retirement or be let go, and having less access to necessary material to complete their assignment to further their education. So, who do educational budget cuts really hurt The answer is very simple: the students who attend these schools that are affected by the budget cuts are those who are being hurt, local business are also being affected, parents of school age children, local community resided within these districts, school board members, and school staffing are all being affected.
Blair, J. (2003, September). Budget Troubles Lessen Demand for Teachers. Education Week, 23(1), 10.
Reud, K. (2003, April). Budget Woes Forcing Districts to Close Schools. Education Week, 22(31), 5.
Willett, M. (2005, April). Early Retirement and Phased Retirement Programs for the Public Sector.. Benefits & Compensation Digest, 42(4), 31-35.