Do you feel that your school district�s budget will be cut significantly this coming school year?'s Teacher Poll of the Week
Do you feel that your school districts budget will be cut significantly this coming school year?

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Funding cuts, budget restraints and budgetary cutbacks are key words which have been heard a lot in the last number of years. Some people report the trend as "tightening their belts" or "trimming the fat". Nice, quaint sayings that don't really reflect the funding crisis facing the education system.

Close to three quarters of the teachers polled answered with a positive response. That large a number of teachers feel that their district's budget will be cut significantly. "Significantly" indicates something a little more than "tightening their belts". Education needs to remain a focus of governmental funding. Period. These students are the future of the country and all of us will rely on them to produce the wealth and productivity to keep us going. Without adequate funding to meet their needs it puts the future in jeopardy. An investment now reaps substantial benefits in the future.

Parents are becoming more and more involved with fundraising at all levels of education in an attempt to help fund the shortfalls. Parent fundraising is no longer limited to cookie sales in order to pay for field trips or exchange programs. The money provided by parent committees is helping fund school library purchases, computer labs and gym equipment. These are staples of today's education system and it's scary that outside funds are needed to keep things up to date.

We also live in a world where instant gratification is the norm. Everyone has to have the latest toy, the fastest computer, and the brand name clothes. People line up to be one of the first to buy the latest technology. What does this say about society in general? Perhaps our students could achieve the same levels of education without all the bells and whistles. The question is will our students be competitive with those from other countries? Ultimately we have to compete in a world marketplace and our students need to be prepared for that. Whether that can be done with less money is a question that school districts have been forced to ask themselves. What cuts can be made that won't have much of an impact on future learning capability? Let's hope they've come up with the right answers.