Over the past few years, I have heard teachers and parents alike complain about cuts that school districts have made. Whether it is cuts to sports programs, academic offerings, staffing reductions or the quality of the physical plants, school districts find themselves making critical decisions with every dollar. Often stake holders want to place blame on the district. ‘Overpaid administrators or teachers.” or “They prefer certain sports or classes.” The finger pointing needs to STOP. Districts are making business decisions they don’t want to make any cuts, but when funding is lacking, something has to go. Media centers go un-staffed, buses don’t run and classrooms are overflowing. Districts cannot please everyone. Districts funding comes from the state, voters need to elect politicians that will properly fund schools so cuts don’t have to be made.
Politicians like to hold education up as a pillar of their platforms. Have you ever heard of someone running on “cuts to education?” ALL educational stake holder need to hold politicians to their promises, help create a better educational environment or vote them out no matter what political party they are from. Education should not be a political football that is dragged back and forth across a 100 yard field. It is time we hold education up where it belongs, above the fray!
Schools need to have funding that remains stable so they can plan long term. Districts right now are struggling with drastic cuts in per pupil funding in Michigan. These cuts effect programs schools can offer and the pay of district employees. Many districts around the state cannot afford to maintain teachable class sizes or to give their valued employees raises. Many teachers are leaving the profession for greener pastures in the private sector. Sadly fewer college graduates are choosing to go into the profession. Many teachers who love their profession have been forced to take on second jobs instead of focusing on their students learning. Is this what society wants in our schools?
The solutions is voting in politicians that value education and give it more than lip service. Districts need to have a viable school funding plan that allows them to offer the best programming for students while enabling them to retain the BEST teachers. Below is a video that also addresses this issue from a resident of Farmington School District here in Michigan.