Board should consider students first when making budget cut decisons

Tonight, many await a decision that will affect students, staff, and the community of the district in the coming year in ways larger than most are aware of. The district receives revenue from many different areas and much of that revenue includes the property taxes of the people. At this point in time, the district is in a state of financial crisis, because of the economic crisis in America today.

The lower the property taxes go, the less money goes to schools, and the more school services will be cut.

In any situation it is almost a guarantee that staff cuts will be made in the district. If taxpayers end up paying the same amount as last year, roughly 1.1 percent, or 31 staffers, will potentially be cut. If taxpayers pay an average of $47.50 less than last year, 2.5 percent, or 62 staffers, will be cut. If taxpayers pay an average of $95 dollars less than last year 3.4 percent, or 80 staffers, could be cut. So, the district is in a losing situation no matter what.

While discussing plans of what’s logical to remove from our schools and voting on reduction plans, the board needs to put the students first. No one in the district is safe and everyone will be affected, but they can be smart about the decision they make.

Each day we sit in classes with at least 20 other students in a room. Now, take five teachers out of the building and add more students to that class. Take two more teachers out and continue to add students to those same classes. As it is, many existing classes have so many students that every desk is occupied. Administrators stress for students to do better on state-wide tests, but if we struggle to learn on a daily basis because of lack of individual attention in large classes, they can’t expect that anything good will come out of cutting teachers first.

Our schools need to keep the teaching staff they have. With already large classrooms, cutting teachers would just make school harder on students. Every teacher has a purpose as does every administrator, but the teachers are the ones leading students every day. We need all the teachers we have to bring individual attention back to the students. We can only be so successful with the necessary tools, and teachers are one of those tools.

Not only should cutting teachers be avoided at all costs, but cutting programs should not even be an option. Especially as students get older, clubs and programs are what keep kids involved. It’s in these programs where most students discover their talents, get away from things that get some into trouble, and give them a chance to be with students that share interests. Taking programs away from us takes our one freedom from “school” away. Students are encouraged to be involved, but how can we if our program gets the boot?

It’s understandable that money does not grow on trees and something has to be done, but I encourage the school board to put the students first in this decision. It’s the students that are affected the most. Don’t take our teachers and our programs away. Instead, what about extra programs we have that don’t benefit students as much as the others? Stop spending on things that schools don’t need. Take the same approach Obama has taken with the nation’s government. Look at the budgets line-by-line and trim the excess items that do not necessarily put students first. Remember we’re not just kids. We’re students with a future.