Arkansas school coping with fewer teachers - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Arkansas school coping with fewer teachers

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

CARDWELL, MO (KAIT) - Many schools in one corner of Region 8 are doing more with less this school year.  Cuts to school budgets in Missouri last year have led to fewer teachers in the classroom. At Southland School District in Cardwell, Missouri, there are fewer teachers and bigger classrooms.  As a result, teachers and their students are learning how to save, now more than ever.

"We're doing more with less and everybody has just accepted that," said Southland Superintendent Kim Campbell.

Last year they were forced to cut between $200,000 and $300,000 from their budget.  Those cuts led to five full-time teaching positions getting cut.

"It's harder. There is a lot more paperwork and a lot more time and we're a little bit more frazzled at the end of the day," said kindergarten teacher Jackie Butler.

First grade teacher Jackie Gibson has gone from under 20 in the classroom to around 30 students!

"Right now we're so crowded in the classroom that there's less time for kids to get up and interact with each other," said Gibson.

Campbell said they've made adjustments throughout the year to save extra money.

"We'll just cut in every area.  We can to try to avoid future cuts with staff because we really don't have a lot of room to cut there anyway," said Campbell.

On the high school level, students and teachers say they haven't noticed a big difference.  However there is one change, teachers must teach more than just one subject.

"You have teachers that are science teachers and teach math and social studies teachers that teach math and yeah, that's been a change," said high school senior Daniel Lodrigue.

"Most of the time in the past we've been core specific and now we've diversified," said Jerion Pillow.

As they look forward to what next year may bring, many here are staying positive and say whatever happens these kids will still get a good education!|

"You can have ten kids or you can have fifty but you have to do what you've come to do but every kid is an individual and you have to look at them like that," said Pillow.

Since the school does have fewer teachers on the elementary level, teachers say they have to have more parent involvement both inside and outside the classroom.

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