As students, we have all been subjected to increased lunch prices throughout the last few years since the 2008 recession began, but the 2012-2013 educational budget cuts have taken an entirely different toll on students this year. Being that this is the first school year in which the budget cuts have demonstrated an obvious effect on this district’s education, the cuts have elicited negative responses from both teachers and students of High School West.
Firstly, the recent paper shortages, as seen in every class, have become the topics of everyone’s conversations. Recently, teachers have been forced to comply with the paper shortages by limiting the amount of copies they are able to print for their classes or even having to request copies of packets several months in advance due to the delay in printing. As a result, students have the extra responsibility of compensating for the paper shortage. Junior Danielle Carley explains, “I have to print a lot more worksheets at home now because teachers have a paper limit.” Having to print out class work, notes, and homework at home has become a hassle for many students who have become accustomed to receiving handouts directly from their teachers. However, rather than printing out copies at home, many students have simply resorted to printing out necessary worksheets in the school library.
Secondly, the majority of students believe that smartboards are ultimately unnecessary for the classrooms despite the previous administrative decision to reserve a specific portion of the budget for the use of this technology. Senior Sanjay Jonnavithula commented, “Personally, I don’t see the need for smartboards. I’ve never taken a class where the teachers who used smartboards absolutely required them for their lessons. With the constant budget cuts, I’m not sure how buying smartboards is [the] most efficient way of using our limited resources.”
Another major issue resulting from the budget cuts is the cutting of funds for school clubs and extracurricular activities. Because of the reduced funding for clubs throughout the school, clubs have been not only forced to reduce their spending but also cut any assistants to the clubs. For many clubs involving much dedication and effort, such assistance is essential for the success of the club. Furthermore, students who are interested in creating new clubs have been discouraged from doing so as a result of less funding for extracurricular activities. Junior Angela Pradhan who was trying to create a club known as “GirlUp,” an organization to increase awareness of the lack of education for women in foreign countries, states, “The school couldn’t afford an adviser or take on a new club even if I received a grant [to start the club] because the school [would have] had to pay for the adviser…instead I had to convert my club into a program that various clubs can sponsor [with the approval of an adviser].” The scarce funding concerning the clubs and extracurriculars has had the greatest impact upon advisers who are not only being cut from participating in clubs but also the opportunity for other students to create clubs for a great cause.
In addition to paper shortages and reduced club fundings, the administration has been increasingly strict with permitting teachers to plan field trips. While many students and teachers consider school trips to be beneficial and more “hands-on” rather than learning in a classroom everyday, the administration believes that field trips must strictly adhere to the subject of the class.
Budget cuts for the 2012-2013 school year have not only been a major concern for the administration, but have displayed many effects from paper shortages to reduced spending for students’ extracurricular activities. The effects of this year’s budget cuts have demonstrated a much greater consequence than compared to those of years past.