By: Jaimie Goldstein
So far, my enterprise story is bunch of notes scattered throughout my many notebooks that need to be organized. Because I have tests to study for, papers to write, and an entire term of college algebra to memorize, my mind is a little crazy. E-mails are being sent out with no responses, and my reporting skills are really being put to the test. But my plan is to interview as many teachers and families as possible to understand how the economy has been affecting the schools and the kids who attend them.
The city council member elected for South Eugene, Betty Taylor, didn’t know much about the economy and its effects on schools. She said, “people are glad to have their jobs.” Taylor used to be a teacher herself and understands the devastating effects that budget cuts can have on schools. Families move in with relatives and the importance of small classes gets ignored. But no specifics from her.
Linda Vargas, the assistant principal at Spencer Butte Middle School filled me in on how her school is coping. Last year they received more budget cuts than this year. Donations went down, but they work around that. The kids have a direct donation drive in which they usually get direct donations from parents.
She is not sure how much the kids know about the economy, but it’s not a closed conversation. The kids usually are more affected on a “home level,” said Vargas.
A while ago I talked to a woman whose husband is a middle school teacher. From a staff point of view, he is losing days and losing money. I would love to speak with him and I am in the process of tracking him down.
So far, I know that the economy has had damaging effects for the residents in Southeast Eugene. Hopefully those budget cuts will not affect the students in the long run.