Niagara Gazette — Third: The cap cannot force a reexamination of teacher contracts. As mentioned before there is the Triborough Amendment. It does make districts cut a lot of the things that make a school like Lew-Port great. We cannot, nor want, to cut core curriculum like reading, history, math, and science. We are forced to look at cutting some our interesting, creative, and effective programs which are not mandated. Yes, that includes sports, music, art, AP courses and more. Believe me there are sleepless nights when these things must be done.
The public seems to think that our schools are still back in the one-room buildings with a wood stove. More progressive individuals may look back to their own school years and assume that things have not changed from when they were in school.
A generation or so ago, people like my mother went to a “normal” school”; a two-year teacher training program that certified them to teach. Now teachers must be highly trained, with not only a degree from a four-year college, but also a master’s degree that likely with take another two years. While, I, and many of my generation, got their education under the GI Bill, when costs were low, today’s young people are running up astronomically high student loans.
In the 1980s, as a teacher, I was one of a group that was able to take additional training on a computer. Wow, have things changed quickly. Now the State Education Department is mandating that many tests be taken on a computer. This requires that school districts have enough computers available at one time so all students in a grade level can take the test. Costs continue to increase with one unfunded mandate after another. Schools have changed to the point that even I have a tough time recognizing them.