Student view of school funding
by Cami Villanueva and Genevieve Coblentz, CMN interns
Recently, there has been a lack of funding in our school budgets. As students, we would like to share our perspective since we are the ones being directly affected. We understand that to continue properly funding our schools, there will need to be some lay-offs, however, student opinion should be considered when doing so. Because of these teacher lay-offs, class sizes are increasing. We have also noticed that electives and extra-curricular activities have fallen short of their previous abilities to provide the self-expressive outlets we need.
Teacher lay-offs have been a problem the district has faced for many years, no matter how much we wish to eliminate it. However, student opinion should be considered when making the decision on who should get the pink slip. There could be an anonymous survey on student feedback of their teachers and from those surveys, the top and bottom ten percent of the feedback can be discredited. This would leave the majority and non-extreme survey answers. The reason we would like to have more student opinion on teacher lay-offs is because we have seen our favorite teachers, the teachers that have helped us learn and grow the most, get laid-off.
Larger class sizes
As a result of the teacher lay-offs, class sizes are going to increase. This means that we will have less one on one time with teachers. Many students also feel less inclined to participate or talk in class when there is an overwhelming number of other students present. We feel that the current class size of 30 or so students is already too high, and we want to make sure that it doesn’t rise above where it is now. In a perfect world, class sizes would be much smaller than they currently are, but more realistically, we can only hope to keep them from rising any higher at this point.
More electives and extra-curricular activities
Having a wide variety of electives and extra-curricular activities allow students to get involved with the school and meet new people. With the recent budget cuts, electives and extra-curricular activities are starting to lose crucial funding, or students are required to pay fees to be able to participate. We believe that it is important to have as many electives and extra-curricular activities as possible. High school is a time when students start to figure out who they are and who they want to be. Our core classes are not enough to teach us about ourselves or allow us to become well-rounded citizens. In core classes, there isn’t a lot of self-expression. Our schools should give students the opportunity to use our hands and create something of our own, whether that be a piece of art or a computer program.
We are the ones that endure the changes made by lawmakers, and yet we have little say in the matter. We understand that school funding is a complicated subject and there is more that factors into these topics than what we have discussed, but we firmly believe that our student opinion should be considered when making impactful decisions.