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County’s Teachers Suggest Getting Rid of Textbooks as Solution to Budget Problems

County’s Teachers Suggest Getting Rid of Textbooks as Solution to Budget Problems

Shelby County Schools’ teachers have come up with three ideas for budget cuts for their cash-strapped school district as a suggestion to officials dealing with a $40 million deficit.

"Shelby County School Board must ensure that the looming budget deficit does not cut into student resources. As teachers, we believe that by making three prudent budget cuts instead, Shelby County can allocate available funds in the right places-to serve student,” said the teacher leadership organization Teach Plus in a post for The Huffington Post.

Teach Plus is behind a city-based effort to empower experienced teachers as leaders of student success in Memphis, Tennessee, where Shelby County Schools is located.

The group’s first suggestion is to stop investing into textbooks and instead utilize hand-made and online resources. "Teachers like us only use the textbooks to make sure the content in our lesson plans is aligned to the curriculum. We can easily print whatever is valuable to the lesson from a digital textbook at our discretion,” the group said, referencing the benefits of using Open Educational Resources.

"The School Board should elect to cut the textbook budget, which would save Shelby County hundreds of thousands of dollars. This money could be used to supply teachers with copy paper and ink for printing-resources that teachers find indispensable and often have to purchase out of pocket.”

Other suggestions from the group include stopping the expensive practice of outsourcing professional development and focusing on energy conservation by actively eliminating energy waste.

"Classrooms and entire school buildings can elect an in-house energy conservationist to root out any perceived energy waste. We need an all-hands-on-deck approach in order to reduce the current outstanding deficit; something as simple as turning off the lights each and every day brings us one step closer to doing this.”

Read the full post.

Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

5/23/2016

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