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> Budget: First of all, let me say that I love having the opportunity of being
> an art teacher. It is the best. I really feel that what we are giving our
> students cannot be obtained by them in any of the other disciplines. I feel
> that what we do for our students is very, very important.
> However, my budget is the worst I have had in 36 years. I teach for the
> Scottsdale School District, here in Arizona, a district where the majority of
> the parents are wealthy and who support the arts in their homes and leisure
> time. They are great, the district is one of the best in the support of
> strong education, etc. However, I think that this community, the
> administration, and the parents are really concerned about having very high
> test scores and getting their children in to the best colleges, and just
> don't see the arts as the answer. In the highschools they are allowed to
> charge an optional fee, but at the elementary level there is, of course, no
> such fee. Elementary art teachers are at the mercy of whoever does the
> budget at the individual schools. Elementary art teachers are usually
> isolated members of the faculty, not a part of the grade level teacher
> groups, and so therefore, do not have very powerful voices when everyone
> else is looking out for themselves.
> My budget this year is less than $1.00 per student per year, or $685.00. (By
> the way, I heard of a new teacher in the district who was given only $150.00
> for the year. She was trying to teach with broken crayons and newsprint). It
> is awful and I am put in the position of always begging, which gets "old"
> very quickly for me and for those I am forced to beg from. Being in such an
> affluent area, with very few special needs or minority students makes it
> almost impossible to apply for grants. I also, simply do not have the time
> to write one. I spend my lunch period setting up for the afternoon classes.
> I am tired of teaching lessons with donated discards. I want to teach a
> sequential curriculum based on the National Standards. The budget or lack of
> a reasonable budget should not be what drives your lesson choices!!! Any
> suggestions from you all would be welcome. It does, however, feel good to at
> least share this information with a group of teachers who can understand and
> relate to my situation. I am thankful for this forum.
> I also think it would be interesting to hear what kind of lesson loads we all
> have. I have 30 classes a week of 45 minute periods. I also have 6
> different preps a day. What about the rest of you?