On school's last day, focus is next year

June 3, 2011 2:10:30 PM PDT
It's the last day of school and the first day for summer vacation for HISD. However, for many parents and school officials, there is a real uncertainty in the air, with the impending state budget cuts. We talked with some students and parents who lobbied for education in Austin this week.

On the campus of Mark Twain Elementary, the attitudes range from deeply concerned to cautiously optimistic about next school year.

"I think we're going to be fine," said parent Maria Keene. "I think parents need to probably donate boxes of pencils, paper, things we can do, but I think we're going to be good."

"Even schools like ours, where we're able to compensate a little bit in our own community, we're still going to see a reduction in those programs and services and I've been told it will affect our testing scores," said parent Sue Deigaard.

Parent Sue Deigaard was with a group of fifth-graders who took on the capitol as a class project, researching and writing to their lawmakers about possible budget cuts, even going this week to Austin.

"We're passionate about the education budget cut, and that we can make a difference, and we want schools to succeed," said fifth-grader Will Partridge.

These students shared their worries over what classrooms could be missing in the near future.

"Technology, less text books, teachers, shortages and different programs that some schools are fortunate to have might be lost," said fifth-grader Cameron Nathan.

"Some schools may not have parents that don't help, like do donations or raise money or their schools, so I'm really worried about them and how they're going to be affected," said fifth-grader Nadia Rasheed.

Big cuts or not, they hope they've done their part to ensure a good year next year.

"Even though we're not many, we still made an impact," said fifth-grader Alex Lee.

"I feel like we really made a difference," said student Christopher Levitt.

The school funding issue carries on to a special session.

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