I note from the pages of The Daily News that the city of Batavia Board of Education, due to budgetary concerns brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, has approved staff cuts in the public schools.
Alarmingly, for me, these are highlighted by the reductions in “reading” specialists and classroom teacher aides. These are two areas in which I propose deserve staff increase, and not decreases!
“Reading” is basic and is the essential foundation for every and all other learning endeavors. You can’t read the words on this newspaper page, you have no understanding or comprehension of my proposal or its meaning. Sorry, I can’t draw a picture for you to get my point. Not because I am not an artists, but because words and sentences and paragraphs are the granular bits of information with which we communicate in our Americans Society. Nothing more to say or write about “reading.”
My understanding of the function of “teacher aide” is that they perform all the clerical, administrative, logistical support, all the leg work, all the nitty gritty, that goes on in any classroom. All in aid to the teacher and students so that the teacher can do that which he or she does best, which is to teacher, and so that the students can do what they should ideally be doing, which is to learn. Nothing more to say or write about “teacher aide.”
I thought it interesting that the Board of Education made only cursory mention of culling staff, time, or facilities devoted to physical education, music education and performance facilities maintenance and management; and particularly to interscholastic sports. Wouldn’t this be a very appropriate time to discuss the elimination of, or the consolidation with other area high schools, of sports programs that experiencing drastic reductions in student participation, or are becoming financially prohibitive for each and every school individually, to underwrite separately. To not have this discussion ow is simply being tone deaf to the realities of current public school sports competitions.
I am citing just a few areas where bloat and excess may be found. I know it is heresy for some, or many, to bring up these sacred topics in Batavia, but we should at least be assured that the Board and the Superintendent reviewed these near-holy precincts of Batavia’s education bureaucracy.