Have you been noticing the effect of budget cuts on your school or college? We have. Between us, we've experienced all of these:
- Our classes are getting bigger while our class choices are getting smaller. Art, music and other electives are harder and harder to come by.
- We're losing teachers every year.
- Some of us can't take a full class load. Instead we can only take five or six classes, which is going to make it hard to compete to get into college..
- We have to pay fees and/or fundraise for sports and other extracurricular activities — and sometimes even for books.
- Computers in the school are out of date or broken — or there just aren't enough for all the students who need them.
- There aren't enough textbooks to take home — or even for every student to have one in class.
- Our buildings aren't being maintained or fixed.
- Class sizes for our younger brothers and sisters are bigger than they were when we were their age.
- Tuition and fees are increasing every year for those of us in college.
Maybe we've gotten used to these cuts that have happened year-by-year, a little (and sometimes a lot) at a time. But it doesn't have to be this way.
We've got a chance to be part of a movement to convince our state leaders that it's time to do something about Colorado's education funding crisis, which is affecting every school, every college, every university — and every student.
All of us have signed on to the 2013: Year of the Student Project, and we hope you will, too. It's a coalition of thousands of individuals and over one hundred organizations who are calling on the Governor and state legislature to make 2013 the year that they stop cutting and start reinvesting in education — preschool through higher ed.
Whatever is happening in your own school, if you believe that every student deserves a high quality education, here's what you can do:
- Sign the Year of the Student "Call to Action" as an individual.
- Spread http://www.2013forstudents.org/fellow-students through Facebook, email, or whatever works. (You can even download a Call to Action and get people to sign in person!)
- Sign up an organization or club you belong to -- student councils, clubs, any group that can pass a resolution of support. Many of us belong to groups that have already joined.
- Like the Students for Year of the Student Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.
- Write to email@example.com to learn about volunteer and interning opportunities with the Year of the Student.
As students, we're tested and held accountable for our learning just about every day. We think it's about time that we held our state leaders accountable for doing their part to make sure every student has access to the coursework, individual attention, materials and resources they need to succeed.
Hope you'll join us in making sure the voice of students is heard loud and clear at the Capitol next year.
Marva Briscoe, Rebound South
Elizabeth Courtney, Vista High School
Jessica Deters, Grand Junction High School
Armando Garcia, Community College of Denver
Amy Hobson, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
Zeke Johnson, University of Colorado, Boulder
Chris Klene, University of Colorado, Boulder
Brandon Lee, ThunderRidge High School
Beau Loendorf, Colorado State University
Martìn Miramontes, University of Colorado, Boulder
Heather Patterson, University of Colorado, Boulder
Robert Patterson, Pomona High School
Julia Plomer, Legacy High School
Hilda Rodarte, Manual High School
Phoebe Stoye, Palisade High School
Hayley Stromberg, ThunderRidge High School