Dist. 73 Teachers Blame Low Grades in Reading, Writing on Budget Cuts

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Spencer Daily Herald Staff Writer

Reading and writing grades are down at Hawthorn Junior High School this school year as students get less instructional time because of budget cuts, administrators said.

Teachers from the junior high met with the Hawthorn Elementary District 73 board of education Monday night to discuss what can be done to lower class sizes and increase instructional time next fall.

At the same time enrollment grew from 650 to 675 students this school year, academic faculty at the junior high fell from 28 to 24. All of those staff cuts came from the language arts department.

With fewer staff members, the school day was changed from nine to eight periods - and language arts was the subject that suffered.

Students who used to receive 80 minutes of reading and literature instruction each day now only have one 47 minute class per day.

Average class sizes of 21 to 22 also grew this year to between 26 and 28.

Teachers said they have less time to work one-on-one with students and to prepare them to complete their homework assignments. …