2009 School Closure

May 2009 Fairfield-Suisun Unified School district announced the closure of four of its schools, three elementary and one middle school, due to the recent California budget crisis.  The plan is to ship these students off to together already over populated schools and cram them into classrooms that are already over flowing with students.  Over filled classrooms tend to lead to misbehavior, which then hinders the learning environment.  Along with the closure of schools, budget cuts have decreases the amount of school supplies and resources available to the much needed, students.  So students have been been forced to share books, only have one set of books, share desks or have no desk, teachers have to limit the amount of print outs because of limits on school printers or pay out of pocket for example.  Also programs that were once available to help students or to give them some extracurricular experience, expanding their knowledge and just plainly keeping them from boredom, have been unavailable and will continue to disappear from the school environment. In today’s economy, paying for extracurricular activities is not a possibility and with the lack of free activities, our children look to other means of activity.  Which can range from watching television all day or video games (which can contribute to childhood obesity) to committing crimes  The children quality of education that our children need and deserve is slowly diminishing.  This may then lead to more families on government aid, more of our future leaders in prisons and on streets, or with the less skills to make a proper living.  Children spend 15% of their day in school and if the classroom in not addressing the cognitive, social, physical and creative educational needs of the child, the child is the one that looses.  The most significant ways to advocate for quality education for everyone is to inform adults if the impact of these changes on our children and what the classroom environment is really like.  We need to remind everyone of the importance of education and how what we do now effects the future because one day these children will be our leaders.  Information needs to be easy to obtain. there should be pamphlets, workshops, street speakers, articles and other media to teach parents about whats really happening to our classrooms.  With today’s economy, its getting harder for parents to clearly focus on whats going on in school when they are worried about job losses, bills, and where the next meal is coming from.  It’s important that we bring the focus back to our children.
From my experiences as a student, I’ve had to share books with other students and wait for literature books from other classrooms because their wasn’t enough to go around.  I’ve had teachers that have had to find other ways to give information that they were teaching because they couldn’t give handouts because of limits on school printers.  In my Advanced placement classes, we’ve also had to share books and other supplies.  Sometimes there weren’t enough desks.  This is especially true in the regular classrooms.  I’ve seen up to 45 students when there are suppose to be between 30-32 max, ideally less closer to 28, per classroom.  Extracurricular activities are diminishing. Band, choices of foreign language, sports other than football, basketball, and track, clubs are slowly disappearing.  They are forced to try to do mainly fund raising to remain available and when that fails, they disappear.  Our kids need an expansion of activities to promote creativity, exercise, social skills, leadership and other positive advantages of extracurricular activities.  We put more money into the prison system then we do into education, matter of fact, we continue to take from education and give to improve the prison system.  Seems like our priorities are backwards.
Some agencies that advocate for education include NAEYC (National Association for education of Young Children), NEA (National Education Association), NAEHCY (National association for the  Education of homeless Youth and Children) and CAEYC (California Association for the education of Yong Children).

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