Letters to the editor

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Standing with students’ futures

EDITOR:

Back to school is always an exciting time. Throughout my career as an educator, nothing has pleased me more than welcoming back students to kick off a new academic year.

This year, like none other, school districts across the country, including Magdalena Municipal Schools, are scrambling. Operating budgets have been drastically altered as a result of the across-the-board federal budget cuts, known as sequestration. And school buildings in just about every community are feeling the unpleasant effects.

We, as a school system, understand and recognize the important work of addressing the nuances when it comes to our nation’s budget and the challenges our policy makers face in getting a handle on spending, revenues and mandatory programs. But the reality is, the cuts are harming what matters most to our students — our teaching corps.

According to a survey released this month by AASA, The School Superintendents Association, sequestration will translate into reductions in and elimination of personnel, curriculum, facilities and operations. More than half of my fellow superintendents who participated in the survey said cuts will have a direct impact on classroom instruction. Slashing professional development, increasing class size and deferring technology purchases are also unfortunate realities, the survey found.

Despite what we’re up against, Magdalena Schools is making a pledge to stay strong. We will honor the families of our community. We will do the very best for our students — the ones who enter our classrooms every day seeking a quality education. Their futures depend on it. Their lives depend on us.

Mike Chambers, Superintendent
Magdalena Municipal Schools