Sunday, March 28, 2010

Public Education

There have been many budget cuts in public education systems all over the country. The budget cuts are happening because school systems get their money from both state funds and property tax revenues. Property values are falling, so the amount of money that comes from property tax revenues is also decreasing. This means that in order for the amount of money put into public schools to remain constant, the state funding would have to cover the amount that property taxes no longer cover. The state will not provide any more money than they originally did though. This means that teachers have to be let go, schools have to be closed, and some school programs have to be cut. Since schools often have to be closed, this means that the schools that remain open are overcrowded, and class sizes are huge. Also, there are less student days and teacher work days due to budget cuts. The teachers who are not let go have to take reductions in pay. I have lived in three very similar areas throughout my life: Fishers in Indiana, South Charlotte, and now Johns Creek. Every one of these places has had budget cuts in their public school system recently. Just before I moved here, the Charlotte Observer released a list of all the teachers being let go in South Charlotte. They let go either very new teachers or teachers who were older. They let go two of the very best teachers I’ve ever had because they were older, and I was very sad. The school that I used to go to is still a very good school, despite the fact that they let some of their best teachers go, but I knew that the school was not going to be as good in the future. My sister is in seventh grade now and I was worried about her having to go to that high school. I wasn’t worried about her safety or anything- South Charlotte is just like Johns Creek- but I was worried that she wouldn’t get the same quality education that I did at that school due to large class sizes and a shortage of teachers. I think that that should be a worry for every person in every city. The education of kids already in high school should be fine for the next couple of years, but I think that it’s the kids who are currently in middle school who we should worry about. Public education is something that should be taken very seriously. It is free education that helps people get into the college they want to go to or puts them on the right path for their choice of career. Public education is the road to success. I believe that public education is more effective if class sizes aren’t through the roof and well educated people actually want to teach though. It’s harder, especially for smaller children, to learn if there are 50 people in their class, as opposed to about 20. One teacher wouldn’t have time to tame a class room full of 50 second graders as well as answer the questions of the majority of the class. So what happens to the kids who don’t understand?


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  2. Brittany Liebenow

    I completely agree with Sydney. Public education paves the way for acceptance into colleges and just success in general. If anything is going to be funded more, education is what needs the money. Sydney makes an excellent point of that by mentioning that the lack of money in school systems is leading to budget and teacher cuts. Sydney mentions another point, which I think is often overlooked: budget cuts not only hurt teachers, they hurt students too. Sydney describes how cutting teachers leads to larger class sizes and less attention per student. I could not agree more with this statement. As a personal anecdote, the class I like the least this year is the class with the most, over 30, students in it. It is utter chaos every single day and the teacher can't even control the class. As a result, I learn nothing in that class. Sydney emphasizes that large class sizes will lead to just that. Students will learn nothing in their classes. Students who do not understand the material, as Sydney points out, will also fall behind and perform poorly. I also could not agree with that more because, in the same overpopulated class, there are many students who are dependent on the teacher for the test information. Because the teacher cannot teach effectively, these students do not do well on tests and other assessments.

    Sydney makes a clear point that, in my opinion, should not be ignored: schools are underfunded. She also makes the excellent point that underfunded schools lead to cuts in not only teachers but education. These points are not only completely correct but are crucial to the reform and continuation of an effective education system.