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Enhanced Learning Experiences Needed

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The following post is from Joseph Harris, a 2013-14 Hope Street Group Fellow who currently teaches English and AP Language at Lawrence County High School in Louisa, Kentucky.

As a current classroom teacher, I have experienced first-hand the consequences of less funding for education in Kentucky. It is of great importance that funding levels for education be increased so my students can have enhanced learning experiences and improved achievement.

More funding would mean more supplies and technology necessary to truly implement the Kentucky Core Academic Standards in an effective, rigorous way. Likewise, with more funding our school would be able to hire more teachers so that class sizes could be decreased, giving me more time to meet the needs of the individual learners in my class. Over the past few years we have lost several positions in our building due to reduced SEEK funding. If we lose additional positions, we will not be able to effectively educate our students. Quite simply, we need more teachers. We need more interventionists. We need more supplies.

Equally as important as growing my students academically, is funding for more professional development to grow me as a teacher. Right now our school has no funds to send us to conferences where teachers receive the most up-to-date training on educational trends and initiatives and a renewed enthusiasm and energy for teaching. More funding could enable us to send teachers, such as myself, to various conferences and trainings which would expand our capacity as educators. A teacher who is up-to-date on the latest teaching strategies and technology will be in a better position to prepare students for college, careers and beyond.

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