Monday, October 06, 2003

No Money Left Behind

I hope to write more about my recent experiencess volunteering with a youth development/charter school in Alameda and a special education classroom here in one of Berkeley's public elementary schools. That’ll come when I have a bit more time ‘cause things is gettin’ kinda hectic around here right about now. That’s a good thing. For now, this caught my eye. It's from my Berkeley School Volunteers newsletter.

In Berkeley, cuts of nearly $9 million were made this year- and more must be made.

Effects include:

-Larger student-to-teacher ratios with $2.9 million cut in teacher salaries
-Fewer academic support programs in the early grades with scarce funds focused on reading at the expense of other disciplines
-Reduction in middle school music for savings of $181,000
-Limits in school library hours-$300,000 cut
-High School athletics and guidance counselors cut back
-Six custodian positions eliminated
-Special Education programs reduced
-Field trips, teacher training, food for faculty meetings…combined cuts of $1 million.

Berkeley is probably lucky in that it has an engaged and wealthy population willing to help out and lessen the blow of some of these cuts. How are other cities doing?

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