$1.2 Million

That's the amount of money being cut from my school's budget in the coming year. What does $1.2 million mean to my school? It means after-school programs. It means classroom materials from textbooks to test prep workbooks. It means ESL specialists. Are these things essential? Perhaps not. The definition of essential definitely changes at a high-need school when it loses more than a million dollars in funding.

When I set up my classroom in the fall I wasn't given poster paper, borders, loose leaf paper or many other materials I would have called essential (especially when I realized some of my co-fellows' schools were doling out materials like free t-shirts at at an arena football game). Throughout the school year teachers were also responsible for bringing paper if we wanted copies made. This too I would consider somewhat essential. I can only imagine how life around the school will change when we're scraping by on an even tighter budget.


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