school budget rant

The public school system in San Francisco is hurting, and the blood is being leeched out further with a new round of budget cuts. Dramatic cuts – with dramatic impact for our kids. There is nothing that is going to be untouched. The useful and well attended summer resource far, where families find out about summer camps and jobs for youth is on the chopping block along with the basic necessities like teachers, support staff, summer school, busing and manageable class sizes and special education.

We are looking at an anticipated $113 million budget gap over the next two years! The SF schools already operate on a bare bones budget. With PTA’s, parents, neighborhood and corporate sponsors and volunteers filling more than the gaps. The arts, physical education, curriculum outside the basic math and language arts, libraries, snacks and supplies are most often funded and staffed through volunteer efforts, grants and fund-raising. The involvement and spirit of the individuals that maintain this effort is wonderful and commendable, but sustaining this model as secure and constant in quality is not guaranteed or easy.

It is our children who suffer. They are not being educated to anywhere near their potential. That is a crime.

For the most part the children of our elected officials and policy makers are not in the public school system. The inadequacies do not hit home, the budget cuts are tinkering with a system – the impact of which is not felt by those doing the tinkering. Their children are not in school system that has determined it is good to use standardized tests to make schools eligible to compere for Race To The Top funds. RTTT funds are competitive grants the Department of Education has put out there for the states to compete for through their test scores and creativity in meeting and advancing the well less than inadequate No Child Left Behind standards and curriculum.

RTTT, like most of the federal and state policies do not do anything to either address the conditions of inequity of resources and the social issues arising from them that impact the school and the families attending the schools. Really, policy makers must be made to understand the impact of not educating our children.


~ by asmallfryup on January 27, 2010.

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