Years of underfunding has caused the Auburn Enlarged City School District to make tough decisions. Class sizes have increased drastically, West Middle was closed, art and music programs have been decimated and we have fewer counselors to help students with their social and emotional well-being. The results of these tough decisions have drastically impacted my time in the Auburn school district. I am a student heavily involved in my school’s community. I have done the school musicals since I was in seventh grade; I am an active member of the Model United Nations, Living History Club, History Club, Drama Club and Debate Club. I am a student representative for the Auburn board of education, and I am a member of the Student Government Organization Board. I love school and being a part of this community but unfortunately myself and the student body have not been able to reap the full advantages of school.
Our district spends 25% less than the state average per student, and nearly $10,000 less per student than neighboring district Jordan-Elbridge. This means that I receive nearly $10,000 worth of opportunity in my education less than a student who lives less than 30 minutes away from me. This lack of funding means that when I get a book for English class I have to be careful how tightly I hold it when I read because the binding is so old that it is on the verge of falling apart. This lack of funding means that when I was in seventh grade, the modified softball team had to wear jerseys from the '80s that were meant to fit 18-year-olds, not 13-year-olds. I could go on and on about all of the impacts of the lack of funding on students but I am limited to 400 words.
As a senior I will be leaving this district in only a couple months but I want to fight for better funding because I have siblings and cousins in the district who will still have to deal with these impacts after I leave. You may not be in the school district so you do not see these impacts first hand but I want you to think about how lack of funding from the state affects me and my education, how it affects my siblings, how it affects every child in Auburn.
Jane Oliver is a student representative on the Auburn Enlarged City School District Board of Education.