V. It’s That Time of Year…

Originally posted at A List of Grievances on May 5, 2010.

No jokes today, kids. Serious post is serious.

Okay, so my old high school’s budget vote is coming up soon, and in the last few years the budget either hasn’t passed, or it’s been pretty low so there’s not much funding for anything. If it doesn’t pass this year, all hell is going to break loose because they’re going to:

a) cut literally every extracurricular activity (they work on an “all or nothing” policy, so even if you have outside funding you can’t run your club or whatever because it’s not fair to groups who don’t have outside funding) that isn’t a sport (3, 2, 1… RAGE ASDFLKJSDF;SDLFSD)

b) drop all university in the high school programs – so all of the SUPA (Syracuse University Project Advance; bio, psych, sociology programs), FMCC (English, calc, history), and UAlbany programs (English, French, Spanish) are being dropped from the curriculum. I find this particularly grating because now the curriculum won’t be half as rigorous, and therefore students who want to go to prestigious schools with top-notch academics will be completely fucked because pretty much anybody can get an A in a system where there’s no challenges. I had a hard enough time getting into college as it is, and I had all those courses. I graduated fourth in my class with a 95.57 cumulative GPA and I got either waitlisted or flat-out rejected from all the schools I applied to (with the exception of Elmira because I had a scholarship, but I’d have sooner offed myself than went there). Imagine next year’s seniors applying to schools with literally nothing but standard curriculum on their applications. No amount of extracurriculars (of which there will be none, as mentioned previously) is going to hide the fact that you went to a school that gave you a barebones education.

c) lay off more teachers, increasing class sizes and forcing teachers to spend way more time on behavior management than actual teaching (especially in the lower grades, where kids aren’t as disciplined anyway). Among other things, I’m sure; those are the major cuts. So there are a couple of Facebook groups started by Broadalbin-Perth students and alums (my sister’s friend M., who goes to Tufts [which, for those of you not in the know, is a school on par with Trinity], for one) dedicated to spreading the word and encouraging people to vote. There was a discussion board topic on the group M. started, so I quoted something he’d said and posted a response:

“BP will become simply a facility for basic and simple learning, with no extracurriculars or intellectually stimulating curricula”

THIS THIS THIS. i mean, it’s bad enough that BP doesn’t offer proper AP curriculum (and yet allows students to waste $85 to take a test that the school doesn’t prepare them for), but cutting ALL of the university in the high school/SUPA/FM programs is going to be seriously detrimental to the future of any student who doesn’t want to necessarily go to a SUNY school (and may even affect them as well). if this budget fails, the students might as well not even bother GOING to school anymore – it’s not like they’re going to have any learning resources (especially with the proposed faculty cuts and increased class sizes on top of everything).

argh. this whole thing is so aggravating. i don’t see why a bunch of old people who don’t want to pay taxes because they don’t have kids in the district anymore get to call the shots. we’re the ones who are going to be paying for your flipping medicaid and social security. the least you can do is make sure we have the kind of education where we can find a job to pay for your flipping nursing home. god.

My sister’s friend J. was like “Thank you for articulating what I was too angry to write,” and I was like “HELL YEAH, rock the vote etc.” So I didn’t think I’d said anything too bad, because I think most students feel like that. Well, apparently some people (including my sister’s friend J.Q.’s mother, although she didn’t write the paragraph below) took offense to that last paragraph of my post.

But your offensive, immature, “in-your-face”, whiny attitude in your last paragraph will make those that are sitting on the fence go the other way. Attacking taxpayers and “old people” (many of which are struggling) is not conducive to winning them over.

First of all, it’s “many of whom.” Second, I’m offended by these people who consistently keep voting down the budget! Of course I don’t mean to lash out at people like K.’s husband (J.Q.’s dad) who qualify as senior citizens – you have kids in the district, obviously you’re going to support the budget, and I’m glad. I’m directing my rage at people who think they don’t have any sort of civic responsibility because they and theirs aren’t directly affected by whether or not the budget passes. It is extremelygrating to me that we are forced to support the elderly (because FICA and social security are taken directly out of our paychecks), and yet they have no desire to give back to the community.

I know as well as anyone that there really isn’t anyone in Broadalbin with money; my mother is a low-income single parent with two kids in expensive colleges. We make do, but it’s hard. And there’s not a lot of money or room for advancement in the Capital Region at all. But if you vote the budget down, you are taking away so many opportunities from students who maybe don’t want to spend the rest of their lives in a good-for-nothing town like Broadalbin.

So you know what? I’m not sorry at all for saying what I said. These people need to realize the consequences of their ignorance and if I have to get “in their face” to do it? So be it.

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About Liz

I'm a graduate student at Emerson College, pursuing my masters in publishing.
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