Raining Money

Classes at West High all get their funds from different places, according to Dr. Shoultz. Some teachers believe the distribution of the funding can be unfair, making some teachers and staff formulate their own opinions on the subject.

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Eight times more. That is how much more money the science department in West High is funded compared to the math department. Are there reasons? Of course. Science takes more resources, chemicals and expensive equipment than other classes in other departments. These differences in funding and the needs of each class vary greatly from one class to another.

 

Getting funds can be difficult. At the beginning of the year, each teacher has to request the materials they want for their own class. The amount of money and resources that can be funded for each department is not only highly limited but very competitive. Karen Meyer, an Algebra teacher in the math department, explained that they get a budget at the beginning of the year. They use this to order compasses, calculators, and other materials. However, she said, “It is a very small budget.” For many classes, they need to charge a fee for some materials for students to own, rather than just provide them with the materials. Despite this, she believes that the lack of budget for their department is not a big deal. “Teachers are willing to use their own funds,” Meyer said. She feels that the Iowa City Community School District is much better off compared to other school districts in Iowa. “However, I think we’re an oasis. Kids have access to so many things,” Meyer said. After having known teachers in other school districts, she’s happy with the amount of support this district has.

It is a very small budget”

— Karen Meyer

Even though Meyer thinks the math department is doing well overall, there are still things she wishes she had. One thing Meyer wants for the math department is better support for students., “A full time employee, who would strictly run a math lab, we need a math resource like that.” Meyer said. This is because many students have many questions, but one teacher is not enough to answer all of them. If an employee strictly had a job specifically to answer questions from students, and nothing else, it could have dramatic effects on the student’s educational experience. Funding towards this could give students a much smoother learning experience in high school.

 

According to English Teacher Katy Nahra, the English department experiences different problems in funding, but she holds similar views on the effect it has on education. One of Nahra believes books currently need funding, because although he department has most of the books they need, they tend to get really worn down over time. Another thing English teachers would appreciate is new supplies. Currently, supplies like Kleenex, Expo markers, and pencils usually end up cutting out of their own paycheck. Narha said, “Teachers spend a lot of money of their own.” And, if there was one thing she could spend money on, it would be a speaker to come in and talk for the class.

Teacher’s spend a lot of their own money”

— Katy Nahra

Although funds are important, most teachers don’t believe that these are crucial to quality of education. Nahra said, “Some of the things we spend a lot of money on, but I don’t think having more or less money will impact good teaching.” This response seems to be a trend through multiple departments, including the science department. Chemistry teacher Carolyn Walling stated, “It seemed like when Liberty opened we lost a lot of money, but we survived.” At the end of the day, most of what each department receives fills the majority of their needs. However, if the departments were able to fulfill their requests, it might make West High that much better.

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Raining Money