Educator stories detail harsh realities of education cuts
By Amanda Litvinov
Students packed into classes that have nearly doubled in size. No after-school tutoring, field trips and music and limited library access. Fewer aids and other resources to help special education students and English language learners.
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These are the realities that result when lawmakers cut spending on public education, and these are the things that keep educators and parents up at night. The fact that some lawmakers would dangle the threat of further deep cuts to education to get their way in the ongoing Washington budget battle isn’t sitting well with those who see the tough consequences of funding cuts every day in schools across America.
Your voice is important! After you’ve read these examples submitted by your colleagues around the country, you can share your story here. Then stay tuned for our National Call-In Day on Education Funding Cuts on Feb. 7. We’ll help you tell your story directly to your Senators and Representatives via the NEA Educator Connector phone line.
No one is in a better position than educators to explain the devastating impact education cuts can have on students and middle-class families. Here’s proof:
“I work for the poorest high school in Washington County. Further budget cut to us would mean fewer services to the most at-risk and highly mobile student body in the county. These kids have the highest mental health needs, as do their parents. Cuts would mean they wouldn’t receive the already limited assistance. Congress needs to ensure these kids don’t suffer further because bureaucrats can’t come together and make the budget work for kids. They are our future.”
Lauren, educator from Oregon
“We have some class sizes over 40, no libraries, no computer labs, one nurse for 5,000 students and no music or art in our district. This is not what is needed to educate our students. Restoring funding is crucial and must happen, now!”
Marian, educator from California
“My class sizes are significantly larger than they were a few years ago. I cannot adequately serve all the kids who need extra help. Several are falling through the cracks. In addition to teaching, I coach high school football, middle school track, keep the scoreboard for winter sports, work summer football camps, paint and power wash houses, and will begin umpiring baseball games this year. I routinely work 60-70 hours per week, which puts a tremendous strain on me and my family. My wife and I have delayed having another child because we struggle to pay for our one kid now. I did not enter education to become rich but a comfortable living wage is expected with two teachers working. I would like to see one of these politicians live on our salary (without accepting gifts from special interest groups) for one month. I would bet that would increase school funding immediately.”
Matthew, educator from Virginia
“Teachers and students in Oklahoma cannot afford more budget cuts. I teach, and I am a single mother of a child with disabilities. It is a sad day when I cannot even pay our basic bills from my teaching salary, have had my vehicle repossessed, and possibly will have to file bankruptcy. Teachers in Oklahoma haven’t had a cost of living raise in years. Not only that, but our classes are filled with wall to wall desks because of reduction in force in spite of our district growing. Stop cutting from education, unless an illiterate nation is your goal. Your education cuts hurt me, my son, my students, and ultimately our nation.”
Amanda, educator from Oklahoma
“When will enough be enough? My district has already lost more than 350 teachers and support staff in the last three years due to education funding cuts and Governor Corbett’s disdain for public education. In turn, parents have become dissatisfied with the lack of services currently being offered compared to what their children previously received and the great exodus has begun: We have lost more than 1,000 students since we no longer offer after school tutoring, computer classes, math support services for grades K-2, field trips, assemblies, and the list goes on. That means more staff cuts and more building closures. Congress needs to wake up and stop the madness before the greatest country on earth becomes the most illiterate and unable to sustain the workforce needed for engineering, science and math related jobs. Please act before the damage is too great to reverse!”
Michelle, educator from Pennsylvania
Tens of thousands of work study students will have hours cut or be booted from the program entirely if Congress fails to reverse its reckless, $3 billion cuts in federal education spending. Read More
Check out the new interactive map from Education Votes that shows what education funding states stand to lose with the looming across-the-board cuts and allows you to easily share our state-by-state infographics with your social networks. Read More