The lack of funding for education has been a hot topic in state and local politics since the Great Recession began in 2007. However, with the economy improving, that situation may change. An Elkin High School administrator and staff member had similar priorities for any new funding.
When asked where additional funds should be applied, Principal Joel Hoyle said, “One of our most pressing needs around here is something like a gym renovation [for handicapped accessibility].”
He explained, “Because [handicapped accessibility] is something that we are lacking with our gym, and with some of the other areas around school.”
Since there is only one handicapped lift located in the auditorium lobby, accessibility at Elkin High School is possibly one of the most prominent issues, as there are few ways to access certain areas, if any.
Hoyle explained, “The room where health and physical education is taught, is in such a place where a student in a wheelchair would be completely unable to reach that room unless something is done to improve accessibility.”
Hoyle also stated that additional funding should be used for teachers’ salaries. “If it could be spent on teacher salaries, that would be something that would help. We lost a math teacher and a social studies teacher because the state legislature said that we had to have more teachers, additional teachers at the elementary school. But we were not able to have any more money, so basically what had to happen was, [we] had to shift two teachers to the elementary school.”
Hoyle couldn’t answer what should be dropped if budget cuts continue.
“So when you say what cuts, I can’t answer that. I really can’t, because I don’t want to see anything cut.” Hoyle explained that schools are often not free to use money as they see fit. “When the state gives schools money, a lot of it has restrictions, and it can only be spent on what the state allows them to spend it on. There is not a particular place that could be cut that would not affect students’ education in some way.”
Staff member and online classroom facilitator, Chris Shugart, agreed that staff is an important area which needs to be supported with additional funding. “I think that more teachers should be hired.”
Shugart also cited where he felt the next cuts should occur if they are necessary. “I think sports should be cut, but I would hate to see them go.” However, staff does not make the spending decisions for schools. “The superintendent and the school board [would spend the money],” explained Shugart.
Hopefully, additional funding cuts will not be necessary in Elkin City Schools.
Blane Macy, Caeson Baker, Patrick Soos, and Brady Shugart are English students at Elkin High School.