Story by Gracie Vanover
Over the month of April many students and faculty have had questions about what the rest of the school year would look like. Governor Eric Holcomb offered two options: complete 160 school days or 20 days of eLearning. On Tuesday, April 14 superintendent Brad Snyder announced that New Albany-Floyd County Schools would continue through May 21, which would give NAFCS the required number of days.
With the extension into May, NAFCS has decided to adjust the school week.
“Beginning next week e-Learning will take place Tuesday through Thursday with the remaining weekdays being teacher planning days. That schedule will take us through May 21,” said principal Rob Willman.
Although this is a final decision many students do not find the continuation of eLearning through May to be beneficial.
“I know it’s hard to teach virtually but I don’t feel like I’m retaining any knowledge,” said senior Halle Naumann. “I’m just trying to get it done and submitted.”
For events like Class Night and Prom, dates are uncertain at this time.
“For seniors, we are looking at a couple of events that will be done virtually such as Class Night, Class Day and Baccalaureate. Firm dates or format have yet to be decided upon and will be communicated to you soon,” said Willman.
In his video, Snyder did address changes to graduation, including a postponement of ceremonies.
“We want to announce the postponement of our May 31 graduation ceremonies at both high schools. We want to provide some type of graduation experience for the Class of 2020. We know they’ve achieved an incredible milestone, but we also need to be cautious with the highly communicable nature of this public health risk,” said Snyder in the announcement. “We haven’t given up, but we are canceling [graduation on] May 31.”
If students have any needs from the school it is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday through Friday and between 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Students are free to come in during those times to retrieve materials like books and personal belongings.
Important student links:
EDITORS NOTE: To read another column on the Red for Ed, check out Gracie Vanover’s story supporting the protests. Also, be sure to comment your view on these columns.
By J.D. McKay
Today, teachers all over the state took personal days to go protest at the Indiana State House. In fact, so many took personal days that over 100 of the school corporations in the state are off. Their main source of frustration is low pay. I do not blame them. I am sure if you asked every American if they would like higher pay, nearly everyone would say yes. However, I believe teachers are going to the wrong place in search of a higher salary.
The place teachers need to go is the school board and work their pay through their local school corporation. The local school corporation is who decides where and what the money goes to. The 2019-2021 New Albany Floyd County Schools master contract states the salary range is between $40,250 and $73,333. The state education budget is already very high. The whole budget gives 63 percent to all education — K-12, higher education, and teacher pensions — but 44 percent goes just to K-12 education. That comes out to $10,842,098,22 for all education.
Just as a comparison, the second biggest is health and human services at 24 percent of the budget at $4,246,085,228. So if the education budget was increased, or the K-12 budget increased, there is no guarantee that money would trickle down to teachers. It could go to support staff, like my mom, who works 30 hours a week and gets no retirement from the district. It could also be funneled to athletic departments, pay for the softball field to be moved, increase support staff pay, or used to hire new teachers.
Another rallying point from the Red for Ed supporters is that $100,000,000 is spent on testing. That stat is from 2017. The 2019 state budget shows that number to be much lower, $45,111,344. That number includes the PSAT ($1,900,000), Advanced Placement testing ($5,200,000), and remediation testing($11,711,344). The phrase used by the Indiana State Teachers Association is testing, and on page 79 of the Budget Bill, you will see that the number is $26,000,000.
I understand what teachers want. More pay and funding would make education better. However, protesting in Indianapolis is not the answer. The most logical option is to get the change to happen at the local school board. Do not be afraid to look for these stats. Look through the state budget. Contact a state senator. Do not just take what I say, or what the news says, as the truth. Make sure to research this before deciding.