Classroom move: Not a necessity 2015.06.17

Another school year has come to an end and summer vacation has arrived. During these precious summer weeks, time is spent making changes, cleaning, and up-grading all the school district's buildings and grounds.  There are always things that have to be completed. With our schools watching every dollar that has to be spent, I question why one job has to be undertaken.

While talking with one of the high school teachers who has been with our district for many years, she mentioned that she has to change classrooms for next year. She has been teaching in her present room for 10 years—since the middle school was built. She has made this room a welcoming, friendly, inviting learning environment—the kind of place in which you would want your child to be learning. Now she has been told to pack everything up (including what the past Stair Public Library Board lovingly called our "Branch Library") and move into a new room. How exciting, you may think…a newer, better space. No, a classroom that has been used as a storage room. She will be asked to house her extensive collection of teaching supplies and many, many books into a smaller space.

This move can't take place just yet though. First, our cash-strapped district will spend labor and money on changing this room back into a classroom. For a start it means clearing it out, cleaning, replacing ceiling tiles, and changing the old chalkboard to the dust free white board. With not one extra dime to spare why is this even being considered—to keep the high school students away from middle school students? No, high school students still travel to nearby classrooms in the middle school. If that is a problem there are teachers in the halls between classes and cameras recording so that a perpetrator can be identified.

Teachers are again being asked to take a 10 percent pay cut in a salary that presently offers no advancement in the foreseeable future. They will probably be asked to pay more for health coverage as well. If we are tightening the school budget belt, please do not waste one dollar for something that is not a major necessity…and this is definitely NOT a major necessity. Oh, you might wonder what will happen to the vacated classroom. It will become a storeroom. Duuuhhhhhhh!

– Kathy Schiermyer

North Street, Morenci