Proposed budget cuts to educationBy Bob Claus
February 20, 2019
As a long term resident of Prince of Wales island and a former school board member in Craig, I was dismayed and disappointed by the Governor’s proposed budget, especially the proposed cuts to education funding.
A reduction in funding to this essential and constitutionally required service of the size contemplated would not only cause an increase in class size and commensurate decreased educational outcomes as common across all districts, but would cause whole programs to be lost in smaller districts.
A loss of funding in the range contemplated in the radical budget proposal would mean that a vocational education teacher or a science teacher would not be funded. Already, thanks to years of stagnant teacher pay and benefits determined not by legitimate negotiation but by dictate from the legislature, recruitment of qualified staff to replace retiring respected teachers has been impaired.
A high school with a staff of 6 academic teachers reduced in staff by 15% means no English teacher or no math teacher. Without adequate funding to support these professionals, how can a small district fulfill its duty to provide an appropriate eduction to all students?
Craig, among many other municipalities, already funds to the maximum allowed by law, and there is no more money available at the local level. I urge our legislators to reject the draconian and ill-advised cuts to this essential service.
Received February 20, 2019 - Published February 20, 2019
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