All across the country, teachers are on strike and going to rallies. They are upset for a variety of reasons, but all have a similar message no matter where they are located. They want equal funding for schools to fix crumbling buildings, get new books, have more resources, and more to help their students to thrive. Images of mold in classrooms, ceilings falling, and books from decades ago have been plastered across the news media. Teachers, students, parents, and more have gone to the streets to get their voices heard and make a difference.
Additional Social Workers, Counselors, and Nurses Needed
During the March for Students and Rally for Respect in North Carolina, there was a message going around among the teachers. They need more support professionals available to students in order to do their job as teachers. They understand the importance of these members of the educational team. They see day to day that their students are unable to go to counseling for days when they really need it. Teachers are aware that some of their buildings may not have a nurse on the grounds if an emergency happens. Teachers know that at times they have to do jobs which others are not as qualified to do, but they must do because there are no other options.
Teachers have rallied with students, parents, and others all across the United States. The cries for help out of North Carolina, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Ohio, Colorado, and more states show a similar problem across the board. Funding is not high enough to pay for the number of supporting social workers, counselors, and school nurses. When they are overburdened, more falls on classroom teachers and takes away from their teaching time.
What Needs to Be Done
As rallies crop up across the states, more individuals need to gather together to support the funding requests. Get data from your schools to see what the ratio of students per counselor is. Find out what schools are forced to share nurses and not have their own each day. Are social workers able to meet the needs of all students, or are they unable to keep up based on budget restraints for more staffing?
Form committees with each part of the school community represented and keep pushing the powers that be. Much of this happens well above the school district level and needs politicians to understand the lack of funding in our schools today. Let them know about situations which have happened that could have been prevented with more support staff.
How has your school gotten the word out about fair funding is needed for your students? Please share ways in which you have reached out within your community, state, or beyond in the comments section.