How budget cuts impact students
As the California economy stabilizes, it is not improving quickly enough. The budget cuts that have been implemented over the years are now proving their effects on schools and students. Lindhurst High School is one of many schools that is impacted by these cuts.
School has just begun, but the students and teachers are already experiencing many worries. As a student at LHS, I have noticed how opportunities such as college visits, field trips and educational programs and basic needs such as classes offered, school supplies and new books have lessened at LHS each year. Budget cuts are not the only reason for these cutbacks, but they are a primary cause.
Because of the budget cuts, new policies were created. Every class was given a certain amount of money to buy all the necessities needed for the class. LHS's art class is a victim to these cuts. Although no textbooks are required, the cost of art supplies is as expensive as books.
Michelle Greco, LHS's art teacher, fears that students may end up being charged just to take the class. "It's unfortunate how that statewide and nationwide, when it comes to education, money is always a factor," Greco said.
Students enrolled in art have to be cautious and use the art supplies wisely. Pang Yang, a senior at LHS, shared her experience: "It was pressuring trying to use as much supply as needed for the projects, all the while trying to use as little as possible. It always made me feel like I'm stealing from another student whenever I got up to use more of something — like more paint, a working marker or even just paper. Every mistake I made made me feel like I am actually wasting away my teacher's money," Pang said.
Budget cuts take away classes and opportunities for field trips. "Honestly, it's really depressing for teachers to be in a situation where they are constantly cutting what they used to provide for students, and it trashes morale," explained David Atkinson, a science teacher at LHS.
This year, the AP biology class was not offered because not enough students were enrolled in the class. The students who did sign up had to take an alternate class.
Every year, the physics class raised enough funds to go on a field trip to the Exploratorium in San Francisco, but this year that opportunity was also stripped.
Budget cuts have also increased the size of classes, making it harder for students to focus in a room. What used to be 17 to 25 students per class is now 28 to 36 students per class.
I want to see education cherished more. Schools are institutions that teach our young so they can be more aware and prepared for the real world. Education must be promoted, not restricted.
Marisa Vang is a senior at Lindhurst High School. Her column appears every six weeks in Education.