The Filter

Elementary Students Say the Math Doesn't Add Up

Melrose Avenue Elementary students call for change.

By JESSE KNUTSON
Updated 1:35 AM PDT, Mon, Jun 20, 2011

“When your company does well, do you fire your best employees?” It seems like a silly question, but unfortunately it’s one that students at Melrose Avenue Elementary have to ask.

With recent budget cuts greatly affecting schools across the country, schools are having to cut costs by lowering teachers’ salaries or cutting programs and jobs. 

Melrose Elementary is a science, technology, engineering, and math magnet school in Los Angeles. Last year the school had a 124-point increase on the State of California’s Academic Performance Index, the largest increase of any public school in the state.

Despite the school’s success in the past year, because of the state’s budget cuts, Melrose was on track to cut four teaching positions, the math and technology coaches, and the entire arts program.

With a loss for the school in sight, parents of students decided to embark on a fundraising campaign to save the positions, with parent Meredith Gullion deciding to create a PSA to explain why school funding is so important.

With the help of other parents, students and faculty, Gullion was able to complete and release the video to shed light on a very important subject.

Although Los Angeles teachers voted to accept temporary pay cuts to spare jobs, the message remains that public education needs to be a top priority, and the only way that can happen is by realizing the impact our decisions have on the next generation’s future.

“We’ve answered every challenge we have been given. Our future can be great, not just because we dream it, but because we are working hard to make it happen,” said Principal Bernadette Lucas in the video, “Failure is not an option.”

First Published: Jun 17, 2011 12:43 AM PDT

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