Monthly Archives: September 2014

Student urges us all to pressure Gov. Corbett on the budget

TAG is  pleased to share the work of Miae Iwasaki, a middle school student in the School District of Philadelphia:   

As students in the School District of Philadelphia are learning, did it ever occur to you that they are being stripped of their decent education due to budget cuts? Governor Corbett is putting tax payers’ money toward other causes. As a result, school districts have not been, and still are not, receiving enough money to be effective. Students require good education for their future careers. Yet, Governor Corbett is making the budget cuts worse.

These budget cuts are even more unacceptable because Governor Corbett distributed them unevenly. The poorer school districts lost more money than the middle class or wealthy districts. The space separating the rich and poor expanded. In the article “Cuts That Don’t Heal,” even the advocates agree stating, “The budget is expected to scratch the wealthiest communities, cut those in the middle, and lacerate the poorest.” Learning will be harder for students in poorer districts.

What about those learning the English language, those with disabilities, and those who live in poverty? In the article “Parents, students filed 260 complaints this week with state regarding district schools,” a girl name Ming Nguyen immigrated from Vietnam to Philadelphia, assuming she would get good education and learn the English language. She did not get the help needed though, and it made her feel uneasy about her career. She had only one counselor who was a bilingual, and was between four other schools. There are about 78% of the students in the School District of Philadelphia that are learning English, have a disability, or live in poverty. Funding is important to them.

Due to budget cuts, we are not meeting expectations of a good education. Also in the article, “Parents, students filed 260 complaints this week with state regarding district schools,” a boy named Coffer said “Our classrooms are no longer centers of learning, they are just classrooms with too many distractions.” A third grade student became homeless, but the school did not have a full time guidance counselor to support him. If there was enough funding then schools would have been better. Instead, the school district of Philadelphia has lost an amount more $75,000 per class since 2010-2011. From this, it is clear that students are not doing well with school.

Therefore, Governor Corbett must stop the budget cuts. He is distributing them unevenly. Some schools cannot afford to lose anymore funding for those in need of it. Many students do not receive the education they need. For these reasons, us students and parents should fight for a better education. We should pressure Governor Corbett by sending letters to: Room 225, Main Capitol Building Harrisburg, PA 17120.

Bibliography:

1. “Cuts That Don’t Heal” by Shayla Johnson from The Union Rep Newsletter.
2. “Where Has Our School Funding Gone?” by Briana Bailey from The Union Rep Newsletter.
3.  “Parents, students filed 260 complaints this week with state regarding district schools” by Regina Medina from Daily News.

“These budget cuts are ruining many students’ high school experiences.”

TAG is pleased to continue sharing student perspectives on budget cuts.  The latest letter is by Soundouss Telhaoui, a middle school student in the School District of Philadelphia:

Dear Readers,

Have you ever thought about where your education is leading or has led you? Education is what replaced your empty mind with an open one. It helped you distinguish between wrong and right. Now, students in the state of Pennsylvania are no longer getting the right education that they once received. Governor Tom Corbett made budget cuts towards the Pennsylvania school districts, which caused many educational losses for the students. These students do not deserve this grueling way of education.

One reason you should be against these budget cuts is because many students in public schools are losing proper education. For instance, many Philadelphia schools no longer have libraries or librarians. Without a library, students who are engaged in their learning have no quiet place to study and are unable to retrieve necessary books. Also, students who need computers are in a difficult situation as a result of the closure of the libraries. These changes have affected our education terribly and are continuing throughout the state.

In addition, schools have been shutting down. Therefore, students are being merged into other Pennsylvania schools. Many high school students who were merged have gone through many problems, such as not getting used to their surroundings and having different schedules. The difficulty with having a different schedule is that many high school students will have no possibility of graduating. This happened in Chester High School in Chester, Pennsylvania. There were complaints from the students that they were not getting the credits they needed to graduate at their new school. These budget cuts are ruining many students’ high school experiences.

Just as how losing proper education is affecting lives, students who need extra help are getting limited access to nurses and counselors. 78% of students in the School District of Philadelphia have a disability, are learning English, or live in poverty. These students are receiving less help from teachers and support staff. Without the help from adults in school, they will have a harder time in the future. A Vietnamese girl, in 12th grade, has been through this same situation. She cannot speak English; therefore, she needs a bilingual counselor. However, the counselor is not always available because he visits four schools per week. This can affect her education and her future.

These situations that were just stated are what the students do not deserve. Ever since the budget cuts have been placed, students are having more trouble with learning and with their environmental surroundings. These students of the state of Pennsylvania are in need of help and are trying to inform people about their horrible change in education by having walkouts. Stand next to these students in their fight for their education and influence others to stand up for what is right. Spread this word to other people, so they can help us, and hopefully, our word will change Governor Corbett’s choice of placing more budget cuts. Help out these students in need and help take our education to a better level.

Bibliography

  1. “Cuts Don’t Heal” by Shayla Johnson, in the Union Rep Newsletter.
  2. “Where Has Our School Funding Gone?” by Briana Bailey, in the Union Rep Newsletter.
  3. “Parents, students filed 260 complaints this week with state regarding district schools” by Regina Medina, in The Philadelphia Daily News.