County Budgets Cuts Trample on Student Rights

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It’s time for county, federal leaders to re-examine their stance on education.

Hearing about Prince George’s County education budget shortfall makes me think there is a complete disregard for students and teachers here. It may even be an attack on our students’ civil rights. The infrastructure is supposed to help students achieve, so any cuts made to the school system would have a tremendous impact on their progression.

When budget cuts are made, teachers don’t have the same supports they once had inside the classroom. Family liaisons are eliminated, dissolving school-to-home communication. Teacher leaders are eliminated, not allowing freshman educators to learn the ropes under veteran educators. The elimination of specialty programs means a lack of opportunities for students to engage in afterschool activities. What’s left is more work for educators on a limited budget.

Educators always get the verbal support from those who make the decisions. We’re told “thank you,” but given a backhanded deal that makes our jobs tougher. According to a school system press release, the approved fiscal 2012 operating budget is $73.8 million short of its original proposal. Because of this, our students will be in overcrowded classrooms due to teacher staffing reductions. There will be more cases of teacher burn out because we’ll work harder with no recognition or appreciation.

It’s time for American government to examine itself on the federal, state and local level. They must understand that this country will implode without a strong and calculated investment in our children. Since the Prince George’s County school system is the 18th largest school district in the nation, it needs united communities to rally against crippling cuts. Our students have the right to be in schools that aren’t overcrowded, led by supported educators that allow them to succeed. Our youth will run this country some day and they need our help right now. Without proper guidance, value and appreciation for education, this country is on a collision course with failure. And no one will be able to prevent it.