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    Money restrictions hit teachers hard

    Money restrictions hit teachers hard

    By Malikah Williams

    With the 2010-2011 school budget taking effect this year, many changes have been made to compensate some of the losses. The class sizes have increased and one teacher in every department has been lost. Most of the changes did not affect the students, however, teachers and the administration were deeply impacted.

    “No one in Prince George lost his or her job, we did not pink slip people; when people retired they [the School Board] just did not replace the position and they shifted people,” Principal Tracey Smallwood, said.

    Special instructions were given in the creation of this budget.

    “We were told not to ask for things unless you really, really need them,” Smallwood said.

    Teachers now have to adapt to inflexibility with materials that were not there in previous years and still try to effectively teach their students.

    “I have bought more of my own supplies and stopped using as many handouts,” US History teacher Cynthia Hasley said. “I’m trying to figure out how not to hurt my students by not using so much paper.”

    Conferences have been a very useful tool for teachers to gather more information about certain subject areas and innovative teaching styles. The School Board used to pay for the conference registration, lodging, and transportation costs. Due to the cutbacks, conferences are now deemed as an expense the School Board does not need to cover.

    “Last year, the school absorbed the cost of the [Advanced Placement] conference but I had to pay for my travel expenses and hotel,” Hasley said. “This year, I have to pay for the conference registration; I simply cannot afford to go.”

    The cost of the conferences can be written off as an educational expense on taxes, but teachers still will absorb most of the cost. Teachers not going to these conferences may actually impact the students as well.

    “The more information I get, the better information I can give my students,” Hasley said.

    Though the school board made the ultimate decision about what was needed and what was not, teachers did have input on what they thought was vital.

    “Every teacher gets to give to their department chair what they need, they send it to me and Mrs. Diane Overstreet, and that’s where our budget comes from,” Smallwood said.

    Even the administration is feeling the pinch because of this new budget.

    “Personally, I’m not going to be attending anything because of not getting a raise for a couple of years and I can’t afford to go to a conference because the cost of living is still going up,” Smallwood said.

    Students, however, have been affected very minimally compared to the teachers and administration. Some students even find the changes to be helpful.

    “I’ve noticed how they [teachers] cut back on how many handouts they give,” junior Devan Andrews said. “Honestly it is better for me to learn it than to fill in the blanks on a handout.”

    This change of having lesser amounts of materials given out by teachers compared to previous years is the major difference noticed by students.

    “The handouts are going more quickly, but this does not affect me, positively or negatively,” senior Hillery Peterson said.

    Though it was thought by the teachers that the lack of materials and supplies would have some type of impact on the students learning style, students seem to disagree.

    “I have not changed my learning style because the learning style that I use is the one that I am used to, so if I do change [my style of learning] it might affect the outcome of my grades,” sophomore Justice Evans said.

    The ultimate goal of the new budget was to make sure the students were not negatively impacted by the decrease in money. Teachers were hit hardest with the limitations but students seem not to even notice the few changes made this year.

    “They didn’t want [students] to go to art class with nothing to paint with or go in the classroom and not have materials to do lessons,” Smallwood said, “They tried to trim the fat, so to speak.”

    “They didn’t want [students] to go to art class with nothing to paint with or go in the classroom and not have materials to do lessons,” Smallwood said, “They tried to trim the fat, so to speak.”

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    • R

      Raya GirardMar 3, 2011 at 7:17 pm

      I don’t think having fewer handout s has effected how I learn or my grades. Honestly, I can’t remember a time when a school ever operated like it had tons of money to spend. It seems like schools have been conserving resources, recycling, and asking students and parents to help out by purchasing extra necessary supplies. I think it is a good idea to have fewer handouts.

    • C

      Conner StevensonJan 14, 2011 at 10:01 pm

      The budget cuts lately have had a huge impact on the salaries of all people but especially the teachers. It seems that it has really hit them hard. The economy has not really picked up enough for there to be any noticeable difference.

    • T

      Tessa AllenJan 14, 2011 at 9:42 pm

      I have heard several teachers comment on the budget cuts, Ms. Hasley especially, and I think we all kind of noticed it for a second at the beginning of the year but as the year has progressed we have stopped really paying attention to it and it’s become the norm for us.

    • J

      Jessica TaylorJan 2, 2011 at 3:36 pm

      I knew about the budget cuts, but I have not really noticed a difference. Like usual, I have some classes where I get hardly any handouts because it is more about participating and listening and then there are classes where I have a huge binder full of worksheets.

    • A

      Alex MartinezNov 5, 2010 at 7:33 am

      One of my teachers told me that this school had either $90,000 or $900,000 more than it needed and gave that all back to the county. Either way, if this school is experiencing harsh budget cuts, then why give back the money that is given to it? But nevertheless, school doesn’t seem much different to me so I have not much at all felt the effects of the budget cuts.

    • H

      Haseena Abdur-RahmanOct 19, 2010 at 7:18 pm

      The fact that teachers now have to reconcile to this forsaken incident of not being privlaged to similar materials in previous years is unfair to the teachers. I know that the students are trying to be understanding on the teacher’s behalf because they realize that there isn’t anything they can do, however, without the basic necessities such as handouts, the teachers can’t effectively teach their students.

    • T

      Trey CarterOct 18, 2010 at 3:59 pm

      Teachers have one of the most valuable and vital positions in society. They mold the youth of the United States to become working fully functioning citizens. How are they supposed to educate youth, when they can’t even recieve proper materials? They are already underpaid and overworked, why should many of them have to pay out-of-pocket in order to do their job successfully? Injustice to the teacher, the student, and the future.