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babybadger's avatar

Budget Cuts - How to Save My Education?

Asked by babybadger (1790points) March 14th, 2011

My school district has relied rather heavily on state aid because of it’s immensity and the strain of raised taxes on my town.

Thus, we have been hit very hard due to budget cuts.

We have one of the best music programs on Long Island, a very successful business department, honors classes that include AP college courses, an outstanding football team, etc.

On the chopping block for this year’s budget vote:
– All performing art programs (orchrestra, band, theater, etc.)
– All electives, save the barest minimum of what is needed to graduate
– Full day kindergarten, or possibly the existence of kindergarten
– All sports
– All clubs / extracurricular activites (National Honor Society and NJROTC included)
– Alternative Highschool Program
– The careers of 150 faculty and staff
– BOCES (help for borderline special needs students)

Basically my schoolday will consist of the four core classes and the barest amount of electives needed to graduate.

These cuts severely limit any chances of getting scholarships, which my town especially needs to send their kids to college.
Many of the students’ lives revolve around the performing arts, sports or business – football, track, cross-country, basketball, tennis, soccer, softball, baseball, field hockey; jazz band, orchrestra…

Teachers are not allowed to print out the addresses of the state governor/senators/legislators and hand them out in order to promote writing about saving our school, although they are on the school website.

It’s my personal life and career the state is taking away from.

How are the people supposed to adequately care for the enviroment, politics and jobs if they are are not educated? Do you agree or disagree that we should get state aid? What is your opinion on the nation-wide budget deficit? Where should what little money we have be going towards? I believe it is education.

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17 Answers

12Oaks's avatar

You should pay for your own education. You shouldn’t expect strangers to be forced to pay your way. The strangers will need things for themselves, so are you willing to buy those for them? And as much as I like music, you could easily learn to play and you could also play sports without forcing strangers to pay your way. Go to the park, bat a ball. Don’t cost thing.

babybadger's avatar

Are you saying that everyone should pay for their own things – as in, nobody retires? Then what is government for? Sounds slightly communist, being that you think people shouldn’t have to help out in a society.
And I don’t know if you play an instrument, but it isn’t easy.

12Oaks's avatar

@babybadger I played in a working band for over 10 years. I play several instruments, even wrote originals, so I know all about that. It’s fun, yet redundant.

I have no idea what retirement has to do with anything, but I’m retiring on my 51st. birthday.

Oh, and government isn’t there to pay for you.

babybadger's avatar

The state helps people retire. Are you saying they shouldn’t care? And not pay the people for their work in society? Students should be educated so that they are prepared to contribute to society, and they don’t have money! They will give back later in life. Do you disagree?

You played in a band – then I would think you would recognise the fact that learning an instrument is not at all easy. It requires hard work and a focus, which teachers help provide. Also, the instruments are in many cases owned by the schools.
Do you think the poorer of society should get less of an education than the wealthier, simply because they cannot afford it?

bolwerk's avatar

Long Island is a thief fiefdom of reactionary, entitled suburbanites. Everyone is entitled to an education, but it’s indeed true that Long Island doesn’t pay for itself. Aid to Long Island is at the expense of New York City and other places.

Anyway, your education is fine. If you need to save money, go to community college, get an AA, transfer to a better school, get a BA. And I sincerely doubt anything will stop you from getting a scholarship if you’re really an able, worthy recipient of one.

12Oaks's avatar

@babybadger I bought a cheap twenty dollar guitar, a manual, and taught myself. From there, I learned trumpet, keyboards, and whatever else I could pick up. I know how tough it could be, and also how cheap it could be and how teachers, while may help, are hardly necessary.

Abd about the state heloing with retirement…. who asked them to? I’m retiring on my own savings, ain’t waiting for no government guy to help. Like I’d really wait until 67 to retire when Uncle Sam says I could when I could do it on my own at 51. And I hardly consider the government taking money you earned and paying you back, when they want on their terms, without interest to show for it as “help”. Do yourself a favor—don’t depend on others. You’ll get nowhere that way.

Sure, everyone deserves an education, but that doesn’t mean all us strangers, who oppose the public school system, should have to pay for that failing system. If you want a truly good education, go to a private school. Public schools are good for nothing.

YARNLADY's avatar

There are so many opportunities for private lessons, surely you can find the activities you need. The taxpayer does not pay for the Karate lessons, the art lessons, the exercise programs and such that people want, including seniors.

Most government programs that support the retired people have been taking money from them (us, since I’m retired) for years, and now we are getting the benefits we already paid for. The benefit I receive doesn’t come close to being enough to actually support me, and any outside classes I want to take, I have to pay for out of my own pocket.

wilma's avatar

@babybadger What you described is happening all over. We have the same thing at our school. (Except we never had all the things that your school is cutting.)
I pay for private music lessons for my son and I pay for him to go to a band camp in the summer. (He actually pays for half of the band camp with money that he earns at a part time job.)
I had one son who went to a very expensive college. He worked and also had to take out very large loans to pay for it. We helped when we could by paying some of the interest while he was in school.
He has a job and does without a lot of things that his friends have so that he can pay back his school loans.
In our society you are offered an education without cost. You said yourself that you are getting the core classes and a few electives. That is all that society owes you.
Then as you said, you take that education and further it if you are able and give back to the society that educated you.
Work hard, and do your best with what you have and with good health, you should be successful.

babybadger's avatar

@12Oaks – Once again with the money issue – private schools are EXPENSIVE.

What I am trying to say here is that Education is the key to fixing society and economy.

The state does have the money to pull us out of the budget deficit. This is obvious since we are told by teachers that we must fight for what we have as a school and as our life if it is appreciated – otherwise this entire question would be fruitless if the state did not have the money. It’s where the state chooses to spend it, and my point is that it should be spent towards education.

YARNLADY's avatar

@babybadger Now, you’ve hit on the real question. Does “the state” actually have the money? The answer in most cases is no, they don’t. They are borrowing money from the future. The revenue coming in today isn’t enough to cover everything.

Your job is to tell the state where they should be cutting or spending. Write your representatives and get all your friends to do the same. Tell them what you want YOUR representatives to do.

Complaining to us may be satisfying, but not very effective.

wilma's avatar

@babybadger I’m not surprised that your teachers would tell you “that we must fight for what we have as a school and as our life if it is appreciated”. Unfortunately, their jobs are probably on the line.
I’m sure that you do appreciate your education. Probably more than a lot of students do. It sounds like you are interested in furthering your education, and that’s great. I’ll bet that you are smart enough to figure out how to pay for it too.

optimisticpessimist's avatar

I will agree with almost everyone else. You are getting an education. Core classes and some electives. Also another valuable lesson. If you want something, you should work for it. You want to play sports, and learn music and art; work to pay for those things. I am not sure exactly how sports, art and music are “key to fixing society and economy.”

My son plays guitar (acoustic and electric), bass, keyboard and drums. The only lessons I paid for were guitar. He taught himself the other instruments or had friends who had taken lessons in some of them and they shared knowledge. He has never been in school music or band classes.

As to your point about retiring, people do pay into SSI when they work (even though it is going broke.) And, yes, if wealthier people are willing to pay for it, they should get a better education; however, not in public schools.

saintDrew's avatar

The same things happening at my university and public universities/ colleges in the area..

We got a letter from the president of our university urging for faculty students etc. to email our area’s lawmakers etc..

the email contained this:
“Still suffering from the recession’s effects, New York finds it difficult to provide resources to support SUNY at the appropriate level. SUNY Oswego’s budget cuts have totaled $8.4 million in the past three years, and we are looking at another $2 to $3 million in proposed cuts as we write. We need to urge decision makers to look for ways to modify the proposed budget cuts to SUNY Oswego, the other state operated campuses and SUNY’s teaching hospitals.”

“We need you to join us in our efforts to convince the legislature that higher education is a pathway to success for New Yorkers, and we must do all we can even in these tough times to safeguard our future.”

Get the attention of your governor, senator and/or any lawmaker you can. anyway you can.. i tried via email =/

babybadger's avatar

@optimisticpessimist – It is also the business wing, which is very important for students to learn, probably one of the most out of everything listed.

As for art, music and sports, many students’ lives revolve around these activities. It can be argued that these activities keep students from doing other, unhealthy things, which I have witnessed firsthand. Also, the average student simply sees the government taking away their lives. There is no trust in the government, and it causes much unrest….do we want students revolting? Education can fix this.

I also apologize in saying that learning an instrument is far from easy – it is for me, speaking from experience.

@YARNLADY – I did not write this question for my own personal satisfaction, and I think it’s very effective in my actions – in seeing how the jellies would proceed if in my position.

optimisticpessimist's avatar

@babybadger Sorry, I was not implying it was easy for him to learn all these (I know it wasn’t easy for me to hear it). It was an illustration there are other ways to achieve the same objective.

A bigger question would be… how is the “government taking away their lives?” Why would the government owe them a life? The government is supposed to ensure rights not to give life. Another question is, where do you want them to take the money away from to have the funds necessary for these programs? I am sure there are plenty of places it can be taken from perhaps these suggestions can be made to your governor or senator along with the request to continue funding on these programs. I realize the only help I am giving you is perhaps a different perspective rather than an actual solution.

babybadger's avatar

@optimisticpessimist – thank you, I will write letters and attend our rallies which include our senators…I suppose appealing to the authorities is our best bet. Thanks again! Best answer :)

optimisticpessimist's avatar

@babybadger Thank you and good luck!

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