County School Budgets

I know I'm on a tear these days, but I simply can't stand injustice. The Board of Supervisors rep for my district presented the county's proposed budget (which isn't going to change, no matter how many objections are received from constituents). It has cut school funding from approximately $79 million in 2009 (I believe that's the correct date, it may be earlier) to about $41 million for the next fiscal year. And the Board of Supervisors is proud of this figure.

Who are they kidding? The county is filled with kids going to school in portable trailers because of severe overcrowding in old, decrepit brick and mortar buildings, teachers who have to buy their own supplies, and schools that couldn't function without volunteers who have replaced the school reading specialists and librarians, as well as classroom assistants. Computers for the kids are old and outdated, running ancient software. These children will not succeed in the future because we aren't giving them to tools to do so.

Wonder why the U.S. has fallen in the world standings of science and math proficiency? It doesn't help that teachers must teach to the test, the Standards of Learning. (Let's learn what to regurgitate for the exam, boys and girls, forget about critical and creative thinking.) It also doesn't help that the learning environment is less than ideal. (Gee, the girls' bathroom on the fourth grade hall hasn't been open for over a month because we don't have the money to fix it.) It doesn't promote a better learning environment, either, when class sizes grow to over 30 pupils because we can't hire enough teachers to keep them smaller.

My children were fortunate to have a private education in a nurturing environment where they were taught not only how to learn, but how to think. They didn't need to worry about outdated textbooks or not having what they needed to excel. I get so angry when I think of all the promising children out there who have to make do with less, and then even less, because the Board of Supervisors can't see the fallacy of their position on the school budget.