Thursday, May 15, 2008

Teacher lay offs

The Todd County Board of Education has recently declined to renew several teacher contracts due to budget cuts. This is a disturbing trend across the state in a reaction to Gov. Beshear's massive budget cuts.

Kentucky has traditionally lagged behind in terms of education when compared to the rest of the states. In 2006, Kentucky ranked 34. Not as bad as it could be but not what you'd call great either. The state also has a poor retaining record when it comes to the workforce, meaning that students that go out of state to college don't return.


Currently, there are approximately 30 per classroom. The number to students per class is determined by grade with the cap being 26 in the upper grades and 33 in lower grades. With the elimination of teachers that means more students per classroom. More students per class will mean students not getting the attention they need. It means teachers, who are already spread thin, are going to be spread thinner. More kids falling through the cracks.

I have a friend who teaches in Russellville, she has taught for three and a half years, therefore is nontenured. She got word this week -- on her birthday of all days -- that as of now her contract would not be renewed. No nontenured teacher's contract was renewed in Russellville city schools, she said. Now, you probably think that well she's a new teacher and may not cut the mustard. Not true and I'm not saying that because she's my friend. Her classes have had among the highest testing scores and highest attendance rates since she began teaching. She was forced to move grades Christmas 2006 to a class that was seemingly uncontrollable. It is teachers like these that make the difference in the world. And they are the teachers being let go because of budget cuts.

It's a sorry state, I must say. Perhaps Gov. Beshear should concentrate on getting more money for education -- both public K-12 and state universities that have had to cut programs and massively increase tuition -- and less money toward finding a way to get casinos in Kentucky.

Posted by Stephanie



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was told yesterday 24 Stevenson Elementary teachers were given their pink slips. Casinos are useless if the students today are not taught the fundamentals to calculate their winnings/losses, so Beshear should concentrate on funding education more effectively.

1:28 PM, May 16, 2008  

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