Jul 18, 2012

ARTICLE: Budget Cuts & Class Sizes

Larger Class Sizes, Education Cuts Harm Children's Chance To Learn

"Thirty-four states have slashed their K-12 education budgets since 2008, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Making sure class sizes don't explode nationwide would cost $10 billion annually, according to a March report from the Southern Regional Educational Board."

I understand that Education is expensive, and I appreciate the need to balance budgets and prevent overspending. But, when did we stop believing that the future of our country rests with our children and their education? Now, it's all about the money.

"Likewise, teachers in McAllen, Texas, reported having 50 students in their classes this year, and a Las Vegas kindergarten teacher had 41 kids. According to the National Education Association, there are as many school jobs now as there were in April 2005 -- but 300,000 more students."

So, budget's are decimated; teachers are fired, and classes are bulging. As a result, teaching is less efficient and less personal. That's a logical consequence. Those who deny the negative consequences of large classes have made money a priority of their lives.

"Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate for president, has criticized the president for sending money to the states for such purposes. 'He wants another stimulus. He wants to hire more government workers,' Romney said last month at a press conference. 'He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. … It's time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.'"

Last I checked, firemen, policemen, and teachers are American people. Every job is important. Everyone plays a role in our society. Some help build profits more than others, though. Now, I'm not saying that those three professions are more important than others--it just seems that it's become too easy to minimize their importance and pound them with budget cuts.

A comment from LaReinadelaSuerte: Let's talk numbers. Most Jr. High and High School teachers are assigned 6 classes a day to teach, some have 7. If there are 30 students in each class, that comes out to 180 papers to grade per day. If the teacher takes 3 minutes to grade each paper, that comes out to 540 minutes or 9 hours. If a teacher decides to give each student 3 grades per week, the total hours per week dedicated to grading comes out to about 27. Grades then have to be input into a computer program or grade book, averaged at some point, etc. This is time consuming but important work. Math and English teachers probably grade more papers than 3 per week and on many assignments, like essays for example, take more than 3 minutes to grade them because written correction is needed. Larger class sizes force teacher to greatly reduce the amount of individual feedback they can give students. 40 hours (at least) at school per week + 27 hours for grading (at least) = 67 hours (at least) Would you put in these hours plus take everybody's abuse and be on your feet all day for $38,000/year? Teachers usually also have children of their own and would like to see them on a daily basis.

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