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The Big Divide: School Budget

Bergen Valley Elementary School

Teachers angry, public schools with less money, and public education facing critical decisions due to ongoing funding problems all over the country. Budget cuts are a controversy in my hometown of Evergreen, Colorado, and other communities throughout the United States.

Budget cuts in public education occur when state and federal governments face budget shortages and choose to cut funding to schools. These budget cuts began in 2007 when the economy went into a deep recession. People began to not pay as many taxes as they were, therefore the government loses money. Teachers faced salary cuts, schools stopped buying more materials for their lessons, and students were often deprived of top-notch learning programs. This is also an important political controversy, as Democrats and Republicans disagree over how the money is budgeted and spent.

When the budget cuts on education began, teachers and educational staff began to realize that they were not going to get paid as much and that on payday, they will come home with a smaller envelope than ever before. When interviewing six teachers and staff that work in elementary schools to high schools, the first question asked was what staff members thought about budget cuts. An anonymous Evergreen High School teacher explained that “The budget cuts demonstrate a much deeper political divide, and a debate in America over our fundamental priorities. Hopefully the process will bring about productive educational reform rather than denying children access to a quality public education. ”
 
Cindy Cox, third grade teacher at Bergen Valley Elementary in Evergreen says, “As I get closer to retirement, it gets more and more frightening for my pay to be cut because I will not have enough support when I reach my pension. ”

Educators were also asked was how they thought budget cuts affect schools,education, and teaching. Fifth grade teacher at Bergen Valley, Sarah Lindmeier stated, “They hurt student resources and can have a significant impact on student growth and achievement. Also, budget cuts make it a lot harder for public schools to keep up with 21st century technology. ”

The last question asked was how the staff could improve the situation at hand or make it any better. Beth Elmgreen, the principal of Bergen Valley Elementary stated, “To make this situation better, I would encourage the voters to vote for more money to education, and I would do my best to convince the government that more money to public schools, grades kindergarten through twelfth is the right way to spend our country`s money. ’’ Teachers and staff are a huge victim of the budget cuts and they all have individual feelings that deserve to be heard, by the public.

Political feelings in our nation are conflicted when it comes to budget cuts. Many Americans believe that Americans pay too many taxes, even though they pay less on average than other advanced countries around the world. Republicans believe that the funding for military and security should be a top priority, and they should maintain in balance. They would prefer cutting spending on schools, parks, health care, and other nonprofit organizations.
 
The Democrats in our country believe that the government should balance the income from taxes, so that spending at home is a higher priority. Also, the Democrats believe that education across the board should get more funding, from preschool to college, to encourage young people in education. In 2012, you only get to go to preschool if you are one of the wealthier students, because the price is so high. Many young people are also discouraged from going to colleges because of the high costs. The citizens of the United States have many different opinions on the budget cuts and how the government should prioritize spending.

Budget cuts are a nationwide problem. These acts have a huge effect on the teachers and staff at my school. Even in my hometown of Evergreen, Colorado budget cuts are a painful part of the school year.