You have probably seen the rallies in the streets and public debates regarding the impact of letting go of so many schoolteachers. As always, the bottom line is our state and federal budget priorities – and whether or not more or less should be spent to keep teachers in the classrooms. The diminishing schoolteacher presence has had, and will continue to have, a tremendous impact on urban communities.
Respect My Vote! advocates for keeping teachers in the classrooms where we need them. This is an issue that shows us that all elections matter – from the president, to state representatives, to your local school board!
The White House released a report, called Investing in Our Future: Returning Teachers to the Classroom (Investing in Our Future Full Report). According to the report:
More than 300,000 local education jobs have been slashed since 2009, resulting in a 4.6 percent increase in the teacher-to-student ratio from the fall of 2008 to the fall of 2010, from 15.3 to 16.0.
Many studies, like this Tennessee Star Report, show that a larger teacher-to-student ratio could be negative for students because students do not receive the attention that they necessarily need to be successful.
Often, larger classes move too slow for accelerated students and too fast for students that need more attention; the teacher is left struggling to find a happy medium to reach all of his/her students. However, with more teachers students can be placed in the appropriate curriculum level and achieve their best.
To ensure better educational equality we must push our state legislatures to stand up for our nation’s youth and strive for the strongest education systems possible. While it is important to hold Congress and the Department of Education partially responsible for addressing teacher layoffs, it really comes down to local representatives taking control of state budgets. They must allot more funds for more teachers to improve the classroom dynamic. Thus, maintaining the best educational system possible means voting on the local, state and national levels.
It is up to you, the voters, to change legislators’ minds about laying off teachers at such an alarming rate. The White House has indeed taken steps toward improvement by investing in science and math, giving states more flexibility on No Child Left Behind, and increasing financial aid for millions of young people. But more must be done.
If you care about quality education for our nation’s students, you must vote!
Respect My Vote! is focusing on teacher layoffs this week to mobilize voters to seek change for our education system. We know larger classroom sizes could disproportionately hurt minority or low-income students who cannot afford to supplement their educational needs. Should classroom size be dismissed as an unnecessary budget buster? Or, should Congress, the Administration, and State Houses do all things possible to keep more teachers in classrooms? Voting will ensure that your voice is heard regarding quality education. Register to vote. Let your voice be heard and encourage others to do the same.