State budget cuts impact both current, future Texas teachers
Owned and published by UMHB, The Bells is a biweekly publication. This content was previously published in print on the Opinions page. Opinions expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff or the university.
Graduation is May 7, and many students walking across the stage are receiving a degree in education.
It has always seemed like a secure job choice. Children will always need an education; therefore, teachers will always be in demand … right? Unfortunately, wrong. This career option has lost some of its job security.
Nearly $5 billion is being cut from the state educational budget. This proposal could necessitate larger class sizes and layoffs of thousands of current educators. Growing classrooms lead to crowded schools.
This means districts will be cutting new jobs along with funding for educating students in public schools and on the collegiate level. With all of these cuts occurring, how can a student obtain a quality education?
Standardized testing is the definition of public schools in Texas. Curriculum is based on teaching students from kindergarten to 11th grade to pass these tests in order to move up in school and go to college. Passionate, well-qualified teachers are desperately needed in pubic schools.
Put it in perspective. How many students at UMHB have had a football coach for high school math or history?
At one a small town west of Fort Worth, Texas, football is everything. In fact, many teachers are football coaches who took over critical learning positions in the educational department.
To make a long story short, not all coaches can teach.
Where are all the teachers wanting to make a difference in students’ lives? In this type of school environment, they cannot be hired. Why? Because of district budget cuts the government has made. And unfortunately, the football department is more important at this particular school.
The local parents care more about their children’s education than football.
Not everyone learns at the same rate either.
Educators are trained throughout school to get students’ attention and to keep it throughout class time. Also, they have to be patient with those who are slow learners in certain subjects.
Too much of this is all too political. Getting down to the nitty gritty, students need good education. Not half met standards just to pass the TAKS testing.
Teachers mold children – they always have.
Two dear friends are walking across that stage at the Expo Center come May 7. Their perspectives have changed. No longer can they be selective about the cities they want to live and teach in. They are determined to go where they are needed. Their passion is to make a difference.
Not only does this proposal affect graduating students but incoming freshmen as well. financial aid for new students will be eliminated, and so will some funding for four community colleges outside the central Texas area.
Lawmakers stated in the first draft of budget cuts that $771 million would disappear from Texas universities. $100 million would be taken from major universities like Texas A&M and UT Austin.
Since the cuts, a wide range of people have been affected. If this proposal continues, then where will our future leaders receive a wholesome, quality education?
If many voices are raised together, maybe a difference can be made. Several websites have made it a point to challenge the cuts. StudentsFirst.org is one place to defend education for all ages.