The School Budget Must Not Be Cut

Published 11:51 am Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Editor, The Herald:

This week Prince Edward Supervisors have an important decision to make regarding the school budget. I encourage them to do all their homework before voting. If this decision is based on perceptions of our schools as a result of SOL test scores, I hope all supervisors have gone to the VA Department of Education website and taken some of these released tests (remembering that students as young as eight years old have to take these tests). I hope they have researched the testing companies, their practices of making the tests more challenging each year and the huge profits made as a result of these tests. I also think they should spend time getting to know the students we teach. They need to see firsthand the impact that culture (television, music, internet, video games) is having on our children, especially when there is not enough adult supervision.

I realize that the supervisors can’t change the tests or the culture. However, they can acknowledge the reality that teaching now is quite different than it used to be and support us in our efforts. The stakes and pressures are higher each year. I have taught many years at Prince Edward Elementary School, as well as other schools, but the last few years have been the most challenging due to the issues stated previously.

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We need smaller class sizes, and we need to compensate teachers for trying to meet the growing needs of our students. Cutting the budget in these times sends a very loud message to students, teachers, parents and to future businesses we want to recruit to this area. I sincerely hope all supervisors have done their homework on this important matter and will vote to support the proposed budget without cuts.

Robin Stables McLane