Fighting for Our Budget

By Kevin Jiang
Few of us students concern ourselves with budget cuts in our district. However, it is imperative that we start paying greater attention to these because our school district is facing an enduring period of  harsh budget cuts over the next five years.
The principle cause for such is the comparatively small class size of the incoming ninth graders, because the money granted to a school depends on class sizes. The school also has to face the rising costs of health benefits, pensions, and unfunded mandates—rules that schools must follow but are not funded for—and a tax cap that keeps budget costs down.
This unfortunately means that positions and programs will have to be cut, including some electives.
As students, we expect our school to provide as many opportunities as possible; a wide choice of electives is what makes our school special.
That’s why I am advocating that if you have an elective in mind, don’t hesitate: take it now before the chance is gone.
Some of our electives are nationally recognized—even prize-winning—like the arts, science, and business programs.
It would be sad to see any of these programs disappear, but we must take action if we want them to stay, possibly by holding fundraisers or other similar events.
The music department is already on the move. This year, the music department held its first fund-raising concert to raise money to replace one of its Steinway and Sons pianos.
Although the fund-raiser was essentially organized by department head Mr. Michael Schwartz, the success of the event depended on the students who decided to participate. The end results were great: over $1,500 were raised, and the community also responded positively to the event. Other departments should do the same.
In May, every registered voter in the district will vote for the school budget, and if they like our school’s music, theater, art, and technology programs, then they are going to demand higher budgets to fund these programs.
Ultimately, everything is up to the students. Principal Elliott said that the school will support any reasonable methods that students can think of to raise the budget of their favorite programs.