The Harbinger Online

Teachers Reflect on Budget Cuts

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Last year many new students entered the school, 11 teachers left, and now there is larger class sizes and workloads for teachers. With that, education value could decrease. All of this is to account for state budget cuts that occurred during spring of last year.

Governor Sam Brownback announced a plan last February that cut $28 million, or 1.5 percent of the budget, out of elementary schools, which deducts $5 million from Johnson County schools. The districts that had the biggest cuts were Shawnee Mission, Olathe and Blue Valley. The Republican governor also sliced more than $16 million, or 2 percent, from colleges, all according to The Kansas City Star.

“I think that this just shows [Brownback] does not value education,”social studies teacher, Stephen Laird, said.

Brownback’s reasoning for these cuts was to help patch a budget hole caused by deep income tax reductions that he signed.

“I do not think it’s a Republican problem or a Democratic problem, I think it’s an American problem,” social studies teacher, Curtis White, said.

The school’s population increased so greatly compared to last year that many teachers have 30 students in a class and/or six classes a day. Because of this, most teachers have struggled to find time for class activities outside of those required by Common Core

Varsity soccer coach, Jamie Kelly is an example. Kelly coaches both the boys and girls varsity soccer teams and teaches math. Because of the larger classes and more hours, he does not have much time to tend to his classroom and coach the soccer team.

Another teacher who was affected by these cuts is  White. He has been fighting education cuts for a long time because he believes these cuts are unconstitutional.

“I have been teaching for 15 years and only got a raise once,” said Curtis White.

Even though most teachers, like White, are not teachers for the money, they need the state on their side to do their jobs well. According to the teachers, they cannot teach to their greatest ability under the cuts and the population increase at SME, they think that the American government needs to start recognizing education if they want this country to get better.

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