Programs suffer and are cut due to low budget

Jake Knatz, Assistant News Editor

 

While most schools usually only have Spanish, Italian, French and Latin as foreign language class choices, Schreiber is unique in which that it also offers three levels of Chinese. Mandarin is the most popular spoken language on Earth and is commonly used in the world of business. The program is an opportunity for students to start to learn the language. Unfortunately, due to budget cuts, the language will no longer be an option for students next year.

Mrs. Tiffany Fan has taught Chinese at Schreiber for four years. Ms. Fan used to work at Huntington High School in the morning, and at Schreiber in the afternoon. This year she resigned at Huntington to become a full-time teacher here at Schreiber. Current Chinese students are upset about the loss.

“It’s terrible. Chinese is one of the most unique classes our school has too offer and it is truly a shame that it will not be an option to students next year,” said junior Daniel Ernst.

Senior and Chinese 1 student Jesse Epstein, was so displeased after hearing that the program would no longer be available next year that he spoke out about it at a Board of Education (BOE) meeting.

“I just felt compelled to say something. It really is such a great class. It’s part of what makes our school so unique and it is truly a loss to Schreiber. Although I am a senior, I was angry because I feel that underclassmen should have the opportunity to take this class and be involved in the club,” said Epstein. “ The class is so important to me that I have now chosen to study Chinese next year in college. It was truly life-changing.”

“It is unfortunate that this school district is discontinuing Chinese program,” said Mrs. Fan. “One fifth of the planet speaks Chinese and China is the second largest economy in the world. I’ve heard so many good things from my former students who are in college now, telling me how our Chinese program in Schreiber has helped them in their college-level Chinese class, and even gave them an advantage during college and job interviews.”

The class is not the only thing compromised by the district’s shrinking annual budget. Club funding has decreased, and this has begun to take a toll on the Drama Club, which is currently self-funded. The club usually puts on three shows a year, but due to a tight budget, is now only able to perform two.

“I want to see my peers and the younger students be able to pursue their passions in the same way we were. If they keep cutting programs like theater, it will hurt the growth of the very people this board is supposed to support,” said senior Caitlin Ferris.

The annual budget cuts have also increased class sizes. Some classes have doubled, while others were completely cut. Senior and co-founder of the Student Union Party of Schreiber  (SUPS) Christopher Wilson was particularly concerned about the budget’s potential impact on the research program.

“Merging by grade level would make the classes too big to succeed,” said Wilson. “Merging the classes across research lines would also make the classes too big, and prevent students from having a choice in what they wish to study, and how they wish to study it,” said Wilson.

Senior and fellow SUPS co-founder Josh Curtis agreed.

“Our school is known for being so good because we had a great research program, and great clubs,” said Curtis. “This benefited all of our students. Unfortunately, many clubs have been losing funds for their activities. Meanwhile, class sizes have been obviously expanding, causing difficulty for non-lecture style teaching.”

SUPS helped organize speeches at  the latest BOE meeting. They assisted students who wanted to speak about problems at school prepare their speeches, and invited students to support their peers at the meeting.