That old saw about your grandparents walking miles to school each morning? It’s becoming reality for some students in Texas. Budget cuts have resulted in extreme measures being taken to cut costs, according to The New York Times. The Hutto Independent School District, located north of Austin, no longer provides a school bus for students who live within a two-mile walk of a school. According to the district, cancelling this service has saved it $25,000. In addition, some students must now share textbooks.
In an effort to balance the state budget, Texas lawmakers cut the state’s public education funds by $5.4 billion at their last legislative session. The result has been that schools are doing everything in their power to stretch their resources, including selling ad space on the sides of school busses, reducing summer school classes, charging for student participation in extracurricular activities like sports, eliminating teacher positions and even closing schools.
As reported by the Times, the Dripping Springs district cut back the hours of its custodial staff and teachers are expected to step up instead, cleaning and sweeping classrooms on the days the janitors aren’t working.
Some districts are suing the state, and anger about the budgets cuts is rising. While plenty of teachers and students are suffering, Eric Soto, a teacher at Hutto High School, tried to look on the bright side.
“I’ve actually found myself become more creative as a teacher. It’s all about making adjustments, and it’s all about adapting to the cards that we’re dealt.”
Image by derekGavey