Budget Cuts: Fact or Fiction?

The American economy has been lagging in the recent years. Because of this, it is no surprise that countless school districts have had to deal with the financial issues of recent years. Most schools are doing all they can to provide a wholesome education for their students with what their wallets permit. Although, the hallways of Coral Gables Senior High have been abuzz lately with rumors and conspiracies about the spending at the school.

There have been many misconceptions regarding the financial spending of the school. With sequestration and a deep recession, it is unlikely that any school would be unscathed by the trickled down effects of the American economy.  It will continue to have an effect on schools because public education is dependent on the federal government. What happens nationally always affects the local economy. The truth of the matter, though, is that Coral Gables has tried to provide the fullest education to its students. It is all about being more efficient than frugal.

Every year the school is given a budget based on student enrollments, and the school decides how to spend that money. Over the past years, it has had to be more resourceful in the way it distributes and gathers funds. If you have only $100 to spend, and you find five ways to spend it, you get more out of it than if you had simply spent it all in one place.

Students and faculty have been unaffected in many ways. Student activities, for example, opened up new clubs this year, such as the new chess club and art club. Last year, clubs were closed because of poor membership or follow through, not because of monetary restrictions.

Mrs. Suarez, head of student activities at Coral Gables Senior high, said, “The budget cuts affect federal funds. All student activity money comes from fundraising. We are self-sufficient.”

Of course, not all of the school’s money is fundraised. The school district dispenses the funds that the school needs in order to function. Over the past several years, however, the amount of money the school receives has steadily decreased. Economic policies involving the school have changed as well. Under the pressure of the recession, and now the sequestration, the school district has been forced to re-evaluate its spending habits. Unfortunately, most of these have not been beneficial to the school.

Treasurer Ms. Tracy said, “Previously, the school would get most of the money it made from the vending machines, and from other sales in the school. Now, instead, the school district pays us a flat rate for each vending machine and the school district keeps the money that they make.”

As a result, Gables has had to look to new places for the money it needs to offer its students an education, and has found alternatives in order to fulfill the financial needs of the school.

Principle Costa had this to say regarding budget cuts, “My job is to make it so that it doesn’t impact the students. So that the students don’t see there are budget cuts or that they’re in a recession. We try to provide everything we can with whatever power we have, even if that means thinking outside the box and applying for grants. We continue to provide tutoring and we are continuing to provide incentives to students. It’s just that we are getting it from a different source. The students will continue to get a top-notch education, the one we promised them when we asked them to come to Coral Gables Senior High School. They get that, and they will continue to get that. The money may not be coming from the same entity, but we will still provide the same product, if not better.”

Coral Gables Senior High strives to provide its students with the best education possible. The financial woes of the last few years have directly impacted the school. Consequently, the school has faced a reduction in funds in the previous years. The school district and the school must do anything necessary in order to continue to provide students with as many opportunities and resources as possible, which might include searching for unconventional funds. Coral Gables has sought to supplement the funds given by the school district. Thus, the student body has remained unaffected on the most part due to grants and funds provided though separate sources. Even so, the financial restrictions placed by the federal government have hindered the learning environment. It’s important to clear the air and dismiss several of the fictional rumors circulating the school. To the dismay of many misinformed students, the school is not shutting down. The administration has taken steps to insure the best education for its students, and it is important for them to continue to take steps in future years to ensure that it maintains the same standard of education.