Teachers Say Cuts In Budget Mean Cuts In Kids' Future

Nearly 80 teachers, parents, and students gathered at the Gulfport courthouse to fight for the future of Mississippi's children.

"We need to tell everybody that education cuts 161 -million dollars. That's not including teacher pay raise, that's not even included in anything. This is just the funds for the school. The workbooks, paper, everything, books, construction, everything that we need for education is being cut and we need to do something about it now," said teacher Sue Hatem.

While education cuts may help ease state budget woes, many teachers believe it will be a step in the wrong direction.

"It's gonna hurt the students more than anything. We're gonna have larger class size because they won't be able to hire teachers or keep teachers and therefore, we're gonna have larger class sizes, which the students always suffers when that happens," said teacher Sherian Kemp.

With fewer teachers and more students, the teachers believe many students will not get the attention they need, the quality of education will be lower, and they will be more worries for parents.

"I, too, not only am a teacher, but I'm a mother and I have a small child. And at this point in his life it's very crucial that he gets a good beginning in school. I hope that the legislators will think about what they're doing and help us as teachers so that we can continue to educate our children in Mississippi," said teacher Judy Polk.

"If government doesn't start understanding that our future depends on our children, then we're not gonna have a future," said teacher Candy Boyer.

The teachers who were in attendance say it's important for the community to call and write to legislators about the potential effects of education cuts and what we want them to do about it.