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Time to pull back the curtain a little bit. I know one of the teachers mentioned in the column and she is NOT an ESL teacher. She is a teacher for the hearing impaired. Recent research has shown that strategies used with ESL students are also beneficial to hearing impaired students. This teacher is going so she can learn how to better serve children who have hearing problems. Do you have a problem with her going on this trip to learn how to better help children that have hearing impairments or should we let these children suffer like you propose with ESL students?
ESL teachers are teaching children who speak another language at home, how to speak and comprehend English. They are not teaching them how to speak another language or teaching them in another language. Many children who live in the northern end of the county come to school not knowing how to speak ANY English. Without ESL services these children would never catch up.
The children who would benefit from such services were more than likely born here so they are in fact citizens, entitled to the same services as any other child living in Moore County.
As for the loss of funding, they will continue to cut until they drain education dry. Once they do that they will move on to the next department, most likely transportation. The sad thing is that 10 years these same law makers will come to us wondering why dropout rates are so high and test scores are low, never once looking at the real problem which would be staring at them in the mirror. And why would they really care, their children are either in college or private school.
Do you know how they determine the amount of cells to build in new jails? This is sad but a reality, they use local 3rd grade reading scores. Research shows that children who are below grade level at the end of 3rd grade tend to not catch up. They are below grade level entering high school and are more likely to dropout of school. 90% of prison inmates are highschool dropouts, so when doing research on any new jail they take into consideration 3rd grade reading scores as one of the determining factors when judging how many cells they will have. Pretty sad but definitely true.
Free and reduced lunch is a federal program, eliminating would not save the state one cent. The federal government actually has very strict restrictions with documented paperwork to qualify for this program. Eliminating such a program would affect hundreds of thousands of children nationwide. If not for this program many of these children would eat a bag of chips as their only meal. Where I teach the only meal these children get is at school. How do you expect a child to perform well if they are starving?
If you are as outraged at the state funding reductions as I am please take your fight to the state level. I really don't know how they can expect districts to survive. I would like to know where the state is cutting other money to help with the budget short fall. It seems that year after year Counties are asked to do more with less, but I don't hear too much about cuts in other areas of state government. NC made progress a decade ago with salaries and per pupil spending but now the state ranks at the bottom! So much for recruiting and retaining quality teachers, so much for investing on our future. I hope that politicians remember these cuts a decade from now when they want to know why test scores are low and drop out rates are high. As always we will do more with less, but at some point it's just a little too much.
Well said Matthew.
I need to comment to clear things a bit. The $90K in "actual" savings is false. It is true that a majority of the $500K that would be saved if the school closes comes from salaries. The part that you are missing is that it does NOT count teacher or assistant salaries. The $500K in savings comes from cafeteria workers, custodians, secretaries and bus drivers that would not need to be rehired. If in fact they were including actual teachers, your number in savings would be MUCH higher because each teacher that is employed with the district, costs the district about $100K per year when you take into account salary, retirement contribution, health benefits and other minor contributions made by the county. The $500K that would be saved if the school were to be closed is actually $500K per year savings to MC. I do admit overcrowding could be a problem in the future but that is not a reason to keep this building open. Future accommodations can and will be made to deal with the influx of new students over the next 5 years.
I hope that once this issue is resolved, people continue to fight for what is best. The fight needs to be taken to the state level because education in this state cannot sustain these cutbacks year after year. More cuts are expected next year in combination with higher enrollment rates. God help us all!
$410,000 is in fact salaries, but not salaries for education staff that will move to other schools. This number is for cafeteria workers, bus drivers, office staff, etc. NOT for teachers or assistants, so the $500,000 will actually be $500,000 because there will be no need to rehire janitors, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, etc.
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