Balancing the Budget…at what cost?

It’s that time of year again. School districts across the state of Pennsylvania {across the county} are attempting to budget for next year. Many have to make drastic proposals to do so.

Recently, the Upper Darby School District Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, Dan McGarry, drafted his proposal. This proposal would save an estimated $4 million. The cost? 64 staff members lose their jobs. Electives?  Gone.

Think about that.

No physical education classes when our children need it more than ever due to growing obesity problem. No music or art classes. Library? Who needs to appreciate good literature?

What does that leave our children to do?

It leaves them to sit in a classroom and prepare for a outdated mandatory State Test,  the Pennsylvania System of State Assessments {PSSAs}.

I previously worked for a local school district and can speak from first hand knowledge about the stress that PSSAs put on school districts. If you want your funding for next year, your students better perform, and perform well. Without gym, music, art, and library classes to get in the way, I am sure there will more time for teachers to teach our children to take a test. On top of teaching the core curriculum, classroom teachers will now be expected to teach art, music, gym, and library within the classroom. As if they didn’t have enough thing to do!

McGarry suggests that students will gain valuable instructional time which will improve their  numeracy and literacy foundations. He is also proposing character education classes to replace foreign languages in the middle school. Students would work on goal setting, community awareness and service, academic progress, and attendance.  The goal is to better improve the overall development of Upper Darby students academically and as citizens. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Our children do need to have these tools to be successful young adults. However, character education can be incorporated with the core curriculum.

What’s the solution?

If I knew, I would be a rich woman. But I do know it doesn’t start with the school districts or local school boards. It starts in Harrisburg. It starts with the Governor, Tom Corbett.

We may not have the solution but we have a voice. Write and call your local representative and Senator. Let Harrisburg hear your voice. Hey Tom Corbett, we’re talking to you!

Read what other Philly bloggers are posting today in response:

If you have thoughts or a blog post you’d like to share – join us!  Use hashtag #HeyTomCorbett, and leave a link in the comments so we can add you to the list.

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Stephanie
Stephanie is an inspired photographer, social media specialist, and brand ambassador. When she doesn't have her camera in her hands, you'll find her with a cup of coffee. She lives life with her two boys and husband, taking it one latte at a time! You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google.
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