Recent decisions to cut education spending affects Blue Devils

by Lauren Pennington and Kennedy Foreman

In the 2018-2019 school year, the education budget for the state of Kentucky will be cut by at least 25 million dollars. This has resulted in schools around Fayette County losing teachers, administers and general staff. HC is losing eight teaching positions, reduced from the 13 that was originally proposed. This is because of a change in the district equation that determines the amount of staff HC needs.

In previous years, HC class rooms were staffed to have the ratio of students to teachers 30:1. With the budget cuts, HC is expecting the ratio to increase to 31:1. Although this will increase class sizes, HC administration assures that it will not impact students’ education.

“The effort is going to be there,” Little said, “that our kids get a quality education, that they feel valued, loved and challenged daily in the classroom. I am confident that we will still be able to do that.”

Teachers that are being considered for pink slips (let go from employment) are non-tenured and have been warned or notified. The cuts have been difficult; however, HC Principal Paul Little assures that they will be equally distributed.

“It’s pretty even across the board,” Little said. “Every department, all the core subjects are taking a hit, world language is taking a hit, counseling is taking a hit and administration is taking a hit.”

In this difficult situation, many teachers are keeping a positive outlook and remaining optimistic.

“The best thing about having bad luck in education is that I’ve met a lot of good people, “HC teacher James Cabrera said. “I’ve got a lot of support, and one day I’ll find my place in teaching.”

Cabrera also encourages students that are upset with the matter at hand to become more aware of political situations and to vote when able.

“Even if you can’t vote, you can make phone calls to legislations,” Cabrera said. “It is important to use your voice and make a difference.”

In contrast to the cuts in other subjects, there has been an increase in the budget allotted to the science department. With the class order being changed to Physics, Chemistry and then Biology, the department requires more money for the necessary labs.

“The state is changing science codes,” Budget Committee Chair Amanda Hurley said. “They are moving to next generation science, which is completely different than what it is now. To have more Chemistry and Physics classes than in the past, we are going to have to outlook classrooms to accommodate teaching those specific classes.”

Despite all of the negativity surrounding the budget cuts, Little still remains optimistic for the future of HC.

“I just hope that [HC] remains a good school for everybody,” Little said. “All schools should be a place where everyone, not just students, everyone comes into the building and learns and grows.”