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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Budget cuts! What do they mean in your school?

Budget cuts! What do they mean in your school?

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Its looking like New York City, where I teach, is going to lose $600-million in school financing this year even as our student population grows. Budget cuts seem to be occurring everywhere. What effect are they having in your district, in your school?

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Kim's picture

Yikes - where do I start?? I'm in California, which of course is notorious for having an awful budget. My district is looking at a 7.5% pay cut and huge increases in class size. I'm talking at least 30 in the primary and anywhere from 37 to 39 in 4th and 5th, plus possibly 45 in middle and high school.
Oh, and I'm in my sixth year with this district and today I received my fifth pink slip in five years. It definitely gets old!!

Deven Black's picture
Deven Black
Middle school teacher-librarian in the Bronx, NY

Where to begin, indeed! Five pink slips in six years? 45 students in middle and HS classes? I have 32 in one class and can barely move around the room; there is absolutely no way to fit fifteen more people, much less their chairs and desks, into the room.

Are these class size increases affecting special education classes, too?

LPS's picture
Cross Categorical/self-contained - Teacher

Fortunately, no one wants my job. Our school has increased class size and cut 6 teachers last year. We were able to rehire 4 through Title I funding. One school district cut salaries by 5%. Where I work we are already the lowest paid teachers in the state. That would be devasting to those of us not at the adminstrative level. Who knows what will happen this year since the Legislature has still not voted on a State budget. It is the kids who get the short end of the stick. I am less likely to include my struggling students with a classroom that has 27 kids already. Most of the students I work with cannot handle being over stimulated in larger classroom. Tooo many things going on in the GE setting, and they need to be self-motiviated, and able to self-regulate. The larger class size does not impact my capacity but it makes it difficult to mainstream students.

Sara's picture

Im a Early Childhood Special Ed. teacher in VA. We are having serious budget cuts!! 130 positions total. 8.1 million budget cut!! Its really scary because it seems all the positions are being cut but we have been told our numbers are to double in prek and triple in other grades. Numbers are increasing but teachers are decreasing! The state has proposed to increase money in Alcohol stores and Rest Stops but forget Education. I am a new teacher to the county I work for so the quote "Last Hired is the First Fired" come into play. :(

ABM's picture
Cross/Cat.-SC from AZ

I believe the challenge is happening everywhere. Too bad! It's demoralizing...whatever happens, we are called for to serve and design the future (our students).

ABM's picture
Cross/Cat.-SC from AZ

That's true they don't want to handle our students. However, we are not spared from all this dilemma. In case, they decided to get rid of us, they'll be resorting to larger class sizes and in self-contained classrooms, they will go back to multi-grade levels.

jeanne's picture

Our school district is expecting a 4.5mil cut in budget and has decided to cut media specialists in the elementary and middle schools. My school is expecting to lose 3.5 teacher and in the district approx 45 teachers plus the media specialist.

I am completing my eighth year and should not be effected but next year you never know. We are being told it could get worse next year.

Gail's picture

I really think someone cursed at me when I heard the words "Budget Cuts". I am located in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. When it comes to special education, I believe I do it ALL! When the new governor stated that he proposed a budget cut of 60 million and we thought it was only 40 million, here goes the slashing. If you thought it was hard, just put a large 10 pound brick on your back and step into my world. In the school district they cut about 250 staff, gave a reduction in 1.6% and larger class size. I believe I read some were that the normal 15 student class size will increase. Hmmmmmmmmmm. shortage of teachers but larger class size. What happen to the least restricted environment. Its definitely not self-contained anymore. Lets say home school or better yet try Charter schools. I thought President Obama was going to work on the Education first. Well!!!!! When I saw it happen, I had to make a move! I am going into state prison system working with the imate.. Can I say, security! I love secondary, but right now! They do have issues...

LPS's picture
Cross Categorical/self-contained - Teacher

[quote]That's true they don't want to handle our students. However, we are not spared from all this dilemma. In case, they decided to get rid of us, they'll be resorting to larger class sizes and in self-contained classrooms, they will go back to multi-grade levels.[/quote]

I already have 3 grade levels. Unfortunately with the increased class sizes in GE. I will be hard pressed to mainstream in a room that has 30 1st & 2nd graders. Kinder classes will be at 26. I have not heard about changes to SC SPED classrooms. And our school is RIFing all of our intervention tutors and testing coordinator. My opinion is that they really need to split this district into quadrants. It is too big and is in deep "doodoo". There is no way meet performing status with reduction of the key people who work with kids. I forsee teachers leaving. With changes in AZ Title I funds requiring a reading endorsement for teachers, to do before/after school interventions I do not see us being able to reach performing status. It is sad that we are 49th with the lowest acheiving students.

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