The Chartiers-Houston School District recently adopted its financial plan for the 2014-2015 school year. In an attempt to help bridge a significant budget gap, this plan includes a 9 mill increase, calls for the elimination of six teaching positions, and does not include the district’s annual $50,000 contribution to the Chartiers-Houston Community Library. This plan concerns and saddens me as an alumna and resident of the district, the parent of two future Buccaneers, and a current educator.
To begin, I am deeply distressed by the decision to furlough six educators. This elimination of teaching positions concerns me as both a parent and an educator. Numerous studies have demonstrated the positive impact a low student-teacher ratio can have on student achievement and test scores. Having myself attended Chartiers-Houston, I feel that the school and teachers worked hard to provide me with a quality educational experience while also demonstrating care and respect for me as an individual. My positive experience is a large part of the reason why I have decided to raise my own children in the district. I encourage the Chartiers-Houston School Board to look for ways to bring back these educators so that we can continue to provide the students of our community, including my own children, with a quality educational experience.
I understand all too well that Pennsylvania school districts, including Chartiers-Houston, are being forced to make difficult financial decisions as a result of a lack of adequate funding, and I do not claim to have a solution to this statewide problem. However, I feel that it is imperative that we come up with a solution that retains our teachers and keeps the doors of the Chartiers-Houston Community Library open for generations to come.
As an individual, I will be looking at my personal budget and making sacrifices to find extra funds, which I will donate to the library.