Teachers react to proration increase

Posted by: Melissa Johnson - bio | email

Montgomery, AL (WSFA) – The news of the additional 2% proration increase Thursday was a devastating blow for school systems across the state.

With just two weeks left in the fiscal year, schools are now faced with painful budget cuts, and some face cuts in the millions of dollars.

Teachers like Janice Parkhurst are still trying to wrap their minds around the increase.

She works in the Baldwin Magnet School library, coordinating reading programs with other teachers at the school.

She said, "We already knew we weren't going to have funding again this year, but to see what this is going to mean across the board, it's just a waiting game."

She's been watching the back and forth between the Governor and the Attorney General, but she says the battle comes down to one thing.

"Our children. They need to be at the forefront," she said.

Elmore County School Superintendent Jeff Langham agrees.

"We certainly hope our voice, the school system's voice, is not lost in the shuffle and the conflict.  We're having to make things run on a day-to-day basis.  We need help from this unending proration, and we need it now," he said.

Many teachers still don't know exactly how these new cuts will affect their classrooms, but they do know getting new books and equipment won't be possible.

Parkhurst said, "It means that you're not going to be able to give them the best, the newest, and sometimes just the resources they need."

Still, she says school goes on.  "It's not going to stop us from doing the best job that we can."

To get an idea of the local impact of the proration increase, Montgomery Public Schools will see a $3 million loss in funding, and Elmore County Schools will face $1.1 million in cuts.

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