The Atrocity Articles

Syracuse Schools Suffer Across the Board

The Syracuse city school district has suffered major budget cuts over the past three years. No longer are the fine arts the first to go (as they should be), but we are also losing a lot of teachers in all areas of study. Major changes include:

• A 6.4% cut in the 2011-2012 budget, with a $22 million loss
• 538 positions cut including 200 teachers
• 1.6% cut of open positions
• 8 of the 59 music-teaching positions eliminated
• $1.3 million cut from the fine arts
• Increase in class size due to a loss of teachers

The school budget has been taking a lot of financial hits over the past few years, and Governor Cuomo pushed the cut in aid because he was confident that schools could "cut waste" without harming the overall education process. Some schools are having trouble sustaining mandatory programs, and people are becoming fearful of their children's future.

Charles Borgognoni of the CNY School Boards Association Executive Direction says that,

"What we're fearful of is a situation where we're not going to be able to provide the same opportunities as other children get in other parts of the state to go out and be able to perform in this 21st century global economy."

The budget cuts are affecting our students. Larger class sizes make it difficult for teachers to spend time helping their students on a one-to-one basis. A lack of science equipment allows only for demonstrations and theoretical learning rather than hands-on experimentation that get students involved.

Not only are the fine arts suffering as usual, but so are the core subjects! This is ludicrous! We need to cut what we DON'T need, and spend money on the important core subjects we DO need. We don't need art, and we do need to keep the cores! The thought process on the new budget decision seems to assume that cutting into important subjects will have little to no effect on student grades, but this is not the case!

When it comes to the school budget, you cannot cut what you don't have, and you cannot expect students to perform adequately if they do not have access to the resources, such as teachers, equipment, etc. Keep in mind that some courses cannot be cut because they are required by Albany or Washington, and you need to understand where money is being currently spent in order to know what needs to or can be eradicated.

We cannot let art and music to take away time and money from math and science, which are the subjects that are key to our children's success in the future. The Syracuse city schools are holding on to these useless programs, and are allowing core subjects to suffer as a result.

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