Where is Our Money?

Unknown Greenberg Elementary School

The following is one of a number of persuasive essays from students in Kathy Cohen’s 7th grade class at Greenberg Elementary.   They were submitted to the Northeast Times but the paper appears to have ignored them.   We think the students deserve recognition for their thoughtful essays on the problems facing our schools.

by Kirsten Banieh, 7th grader at Greenberg Elementary School
Millions of students in the Pennsylvania school districts are hanging by a thread. Where has their money gone? These innocent students are being apathetically stripped of their proper education. You are probably wondering why. Pennsylvania schools have been underfunded for decades leaving lacerations in the education of students. The governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Corbett, is putting taxpayers’ money towards other affairs, like building prisons, with the belief that they are more important than our education. This unjust treatment to our education is unacceptable and must be terminated.
To begin with, funding is very important for the students who do not speak English fluently or students with special needs. They need extra help because they lack simple qualities to make their opportunity of learning fulfillable. The qualities they lack force them to rely on teachers and tutors for the support they need. Hold on, there is not enough money coming in right? Then, how are all these teachers and tutors going to get paid? Because of the budget cuts, the school district had to lay off many employees and the ones who still have their job, are overburdened with work. With this much work, they do not have enough time to focus on particular students. How are these special needs students ever going to improve without the proper attention needed? Plus, they need supplies to expand their chances of learning. We are not going to get these supplies since the school district is broke and there will not be any improvement from these students. It is like asking to turn a paper clip into a printer.
In the second place, immigrants coming from other countries to Pennsylvania expecting good education get way less than hoped for. These immigrants have heard great stories of the land of opportunity but then come down to this. A sixteen-year-old Vietnamese girl who immigrated to Philadelphia from Vietnam, has been one of the greatly disappointed. The school that she attended, had little information about her and put her in the twelfth grade, while she needed more support because of her lack of fluent English. Getting ready to finish high school was challenging for her since the only bilingual teacher there had to split her time with four different schools. Because of this ordeal, she did not get her proper education. What a shame.
Furthermore, budget cuts have been taken from districts unevenly based on their wealth. According to the article “Where has our funding gone?” over a thousand dollars have been taken from each student in Philadelphia. It is pretty obvious that the school district is preparing the children of Philadelphia to have minimum wage jobs. Meanwhile, school districts in Bucks county, Delaware county, and Montgomery county, have had less than two hundred twenty dollars taken from each student. This is unfair since Philly is already suffering from underfunding. Why make it worse?
If issues deteriorate any more than they have, many families, including mine, will pack their bags and simply leave. It is ridiculous how the students in Pennsylvania are being treated and must be changed. Students with no proper help, unfair budget cuts, and disappointed immigrants, are not the answer. We are the world, we are the children, and we are the ones who are going to live in this world thirty years from now. No education equals no power. With these budget cuts, how are we going to contribute to the world and succeed in life? We, as students, and citizens of Pennsylvania should become one, and fight for our rights and education. Demonstrations, strikes, and letters are some examples of what we could do but just speak up and do something. This is not a joke; this is our future.
“Cuts that don’t heal.”- By Shayla Johnson. Found in the union rep Newsletter.
“Where has our school funding gone?”- Brianna Bailey. Found in the union Rep newsletter.
“Parents, students filed 260 complaints this week with state regarding district schools.”-Daily news.

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