Some state legislators keep pushing charter schools and Education Savings Accounts that will only help a small number of children. But their efforts leave public schools underfunded where the majority of young Mountaineers face serious problems that need addressing.
As our legislators prepare to return to Charleston to discuss “education betterment,” the state Board of Education has released their findings from a series of forums on education they held throughout the state.
The BOE’s report included feedback from teachers, parents and members of the general public, but a particularly striking section focused on the feedback from students. These are some of the things our children encounter over the course of their studies.
From WV Metro News:Fifty-nine percent of students described daily classroom disruptions.
- Fifty-two percent observed daily lack of respect for teachers.
- Thirty-nine percent described student depression or other mental health problems.
- Twenty-nine percent described harassment or bullying.
- Twenty-four percent observed daily student alcohol or drug use.
These are serious problems our children are encountering across our state, and it’s clear that steps must be taken to address them.
Hiring more teachers would allow for smaller class sizes. A smaller class means more one-on-one interactions to help address classroom disruptions and issues of disrespect.
Additional funding for counselors and social workers could address student depression, bullying and alcohol and drug use. These are problems that can be addressed in our schools, if our legislature allows schools to be fully funded and staffed.
Do the math.
Every public dollar spent on private education may provide a small benefit to a limited number of children. But those same dollars could have a greater impact if spent to help the public schools that already stand in our communities.
Feliphe Schiarolli photo | unsplash.com