Monthly Archives: May 2014

Budget Cuts: Let the Truth Be Heard

TAG is pleased to present the following piece by Tiesianna Matthews, a 7th grade student in the School District of Philadelphia.

           How are you feeling today? I am asking you because I am mad. Actually, I am furious! Governor Corbett has cut school funds and it is not okay. Gov. Corbett is taking advantage of our youth by taking away the money we deserve. As fellow students, we need to unite and stop these crazy budget cuts. It is not fair how we students are downgraded because of our age. We need to put a stop to this. If we do not, we will always be known as, “Just those kids,” meaning that young people do not have a say in what is affecting our lives. Together, we can fight this, and take a stand for what we believe in. I am tired of being locked away with tape over my mouth. We need to let the truth be heard.

Imagine this, you walk to school one day. You stop by the cafeteria to get a creamy cup of hot chocolate. After that, you head off to go to basketball practice or perhaps art class. Wouldn’t that be fun? I mean if I were you, I would want to be rewarded for all my hard work. Well, too bad. Public schools do not have the clubs or extra curricular programs as before. The clubs are being cut and this is affecting students. One reason why students work hard and try to achieve good grades is so they can go to their clubs to get a break while feeling both special and unique. Budget cuts make all the hard working students feel like they do not have a reason to go above and beyond their classwork. This budget cut is unfair. Let the truth be heard.

Whether you love them or hate them, books are an important part in our education. If you are in middle school or higher, teachers give you work that is anything but basic. Many projects require research in books. With the budget cuts, libraries are no longer in schools. Students may need a book that’s not their neighborhood library. What do you do then? Whether governor Corbett knows or not, we are all losing our proper education. I am not going to jump to conclusions, though. Let us just say that your school does have a library. There is no guarantee that the librarian is trained or qualified. The budget cuts are preventing schools from having a librarian that actually knows what he/she is doing. I want a library in my school with a great librarian. Let the truth be heard.

Fellow achievers, when you go to school, do you expect at least the basic tools of learning? It is good my school has the basic essentials I need for school, for now. Other schools, though, are not so lucky. In places such as Reading, the students were used to underfunding and not having enough resources. With the cut, Reading schools lost even more funds. Students gave familiar complaints about this issue, “Overcrowded classrooms, lack of books, no access to technology, no support from counselors and inexperienced teachers that do not engage with students.” These budget cuts are affecting your education. Let the truth be heard.

Over crowded classrooms, cut programs and unqualified librarians, is this the future you want? Stand out from the crowd and show how you feel. Just like other people, you also have a voice. How are you feeling after reading this? If you truly care, take a stand and protest against school budget cuts. Speak loud and let your voice be heard.

Bibliography

1.” Cuts that don’t heal” by Shayla Johnson

2″Daily News” by Regina Medina

3.”Where has our school funding gone?” by Briana Bailey

Inspiration and Connection at TAG’s Education for Liberation Conference

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Over one hundred students, educators, and allies of public education came out on Saturday, May 3, to connect with peers in thirteen thought-provoking workshops, and hear words of inspiration from activist Dr. Lois Weiner.  In her keynote address, Dr. Weiner spoke of the need to call a spade a spade and stop negotiating with people who want to destroy us.  She also cautioned anyone against recalling a golden age of education, since segregation accompanied the privileges of many.  And she urged us to treasure and protect our African American teachers, who can be more vulnerable than others during school turn-arounds.  Finally, she stressed that what’s right isn’t necessarily popular.