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Thursday, August 02, 2012

School decay due to budget cuts discussed by panel in Wichita

From Wichita Peace and Freedom Party Examiner

Over crowding, an inability to deal with bullying and the stress on students, due to budget cuts by the Kansas State Government, were the topic of a panel discussion last Saturday, in Wichita. About 50 people attended the event.
It was called “The Decay of USD 259 (the Wichita School District) & How it’s Affecting Latino Kinds in Your Community.” The event was sponsored in part by the Sunflower Community Action. Teachers, students and politicians were all there to talk the issues and answer questions as to the affect of funding cuts to
“We have classrooms that are ridiculously overcrowded,” said Kate Hurt, a teacher from the Wichita School district.
She added that the cuts have caused lots of teacher firings, along with anxiety for the teachers who aren’t fired as they worry about their jobs being cut every year.
“We have a shortage of equipment,” Hurt said.
She said teachers spend so much time monitoring bullying that it takes most of their time away from teaching the students.
“Our schools have become negative, hostile places,” she said.
Students on the panel spoke out about bullying and discrimination against race, sexual preference, clothes and anything that makes a student stand out as different.
Alex Gretsky, one of the students, said he was leaving the public school for an online school to try and get a decent education.
“A lot of my friends can’t afford that,” he said. “Gov. (Sam) Brownback cares more about the Koch Brothers than he does about Kansas’ students.”
Some of the students, from the middle and high schools, put on skits about bullying and discrimination.
Several Kansas State House and Senate candidates were there including Oletha-Faust-Goudeau, House Democrat, District 84, Kenya Cox, Senate Republican, District 29, Tim Snow, Senate Democrat, District 25, and Michael O'Donnell, Senator, District 25, sent a representative John Whitmer.
Senator Jean Schodorf, of District 25 didn’t bother to show up at all.
All the candidates said they would not vote for further cuts. Whitmer said O’Donnell favoured vouchers.
“I don’t think the taxpayers want to fund children of illegal aliens,” Whitmer said.
“It’s the right thing to do,” yelled a person from the audience in response.
“Our teachers do more to earn their money than the Governor does and they earn way less,” Snow said.

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