Forced spending cuts slash hope for teachers
Kindergarten teacher Christine Milders worries that forced spending cuts could increase her class size and affect her students.
March 19th, 2013
11:40 AM ET

Forced spending cuts slash hope for teachers

By Jareen Imam, CNN

(CNN) - Inside her Oxford, Ohio, kindergarten classroom, Christine Milders has 24 cubbies, 24 tables and 24 seats. It's a perfect fit for her 24 little students, no more.

But come next fall, she expects that number will grow to 30. That's when forced federal spending cuts, also known as the sequester, will kick in and start chipping away at education funding.

"Where will I put six more students?" Milders asked. "My young learners come to my classroom with little or no school experience. I not only need to meet their academic needs, but their social and emotional needs as well."

The government is set to cut $85 billion through the end of the fiscal year, September 30. Of that money, $2.5 billion will be coming out of the Department of Education's $70 billion budget.

Uncertainties surround how these large cuts will affect schools, because the decisions will be made on the state and local levels. But with budget cuts looming, many teachers like Milders are wondering what's left to cut.

Milders, who has taught kindergarten for 17 years, worries that more cuts to education will not only affect her students' ability to learn and grow, but also fears she will eventually be replaced by a younger and cheaper teacher, as she put it. "It happens often," she said.

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Filed under: Elementary school • Politics • School budgets • Students • Teachers
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Jacqueline Knowlton

    Class size is just a smart part of the problem that teachers face in today's classrooms. Depending on the specific needs of each community, the number of students is trivial to the expectations which are held for teachers and students. There are far too many challenges to name but just one of the biggest problem I see is that our education system is labeling, segregating, isolating students which is so far from what our country is supposed to stand for. We use uniformed answers to judge how well students are being educated by their teachers, holding teachers accountable for what is way beyond their reach, and blaming everything but the government that keeps passing unrealistic goals that neither adequately assess student learning nor prepare children for the world outside of school. Perhaps we should identify the biggest problems in our societies and construct a meaningful educational system that works towards solving these problems. Or at the very least, respect the profession that touches the lives of the future.

    March 24, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
  2. cheryl

    It would be easy for us teachers to teach if students came to school ready to learn- emotionally, physically and with supplies. However that is not the case. I have at least 6 students who can't focus and one who is just out of control. 1/2 of my class can't do basic math even though I have tutored these kids in this for 9 weeks. Then there is the politics game. It's "moneyball." We sit in meetings and decide who we will tutor to "get the best bang for our buck" in terms of growth to make our scores go up. Education is NOT about students anymore, it is about test scores and money- sad.

    March 21, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
  3. Mary Saldana

    Is she for real? I live in area where there are sometimes 30 to 35 students to a classroom. Why isnt anyone worried about that....No becuase we live next to the border and we do not need the help....so just let the rooms fill up....She will have to do what is expected of her to do and that is to teach....If teachers down hear can manage it she can too isnt that her job? It like we say keep voting for those republicans or as they are called today GOP and we will see room with more than 35...just like we do....

    March 21, 2013 at 4:22 pm |