Eric Goldstein

Over the last several years, the Reading Public Schools have had to cut the budget each year. This has meant that the sixth grade students have had less to work with year after year. At first it was less materials like classroom supplies and curriculum related resources such as books, magazines and online articles. Last year, we were able to buy nothing for Social Studies. This is significant because our Social Studies textbook was published in the 1990’s. It’s badly out of date and needs to be replaced, but there have been no funds to replace the textbooks for years. There are online textbooks filled with interactive web based resources for students available on the market for purchase, but not for the sixth graders in Reading. Instead, I scour the internet for resources I can find for free. Sixth graders at Parker have also seen less paraprofessional support in the classrooms and the loss of a part time reading specialist to support them. Last year’s budget included the significant cut of an English teacher, which would have reduced student instruction in English and Reading in half. Students were facing 50% less time developing their reading and writing skills. Thankfully, the students were spared this cut last year through a one time arrangement, but this cut could again be included in this year’s budget cuts. I don’t know what further cuts will be next, but I do know that every cut diminishes what our students can accomplish. The cuts take materials, resources, support personnel and teachers out of the classrooms. That is simply bad for our kids and our schools.

Eric Goldstein

Grade 6, Social Studies Teacher at Parker Middle School

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